The California Supreme Court has granted review of two Second District Court of Appeal cases which came to opposite conclusions as to the foundation necessary to admit photographs taken by red light cameras. People v. Goldsmith (S201443) had concluded that the trial court did not err in admitting the photographs despite the absence of testimony showing that the camera was operating properly. The appellate court found that the images were presumed to be accurate, the defendant had not cast doubt on their reliability, and the photographs and the information printed on them were not hearsay. See, "Humans and Machines Are Now Tied," posted Mar. 28, 2012.
The Court also granted review of People v. Borzakian (S201474), where a different division of the appellate court reversed the defendant's conviction on the ground that the photographs were not properly authenticated. See, "Humans 1, Machines 0," posted Mar. 25, 2012. Further action in Borzakian was deferred pending the outcome in Goldsmith.
In granting review of Goldsmith, the Court limited the issues to 1) What testimony, if any, regarding the accuracy and reliability of an automated camera system is required? and 2) Is the evidence hearsay and, if so, do any exceptions to the hearsay rule apply?
For a discussion of the holdings in Goldsmith and Borzakian by guest poster Christine Peek, see "Are Humans Really Necessary?" posted Apr. 2, 2012.