Computer-generated exhibits (CGEs) have become common in court rooms, not least in the U.S., but some people have warned against the practice. For one thing, the videos often have a very persuasive effect on juries, but there are few guidelines on how they should be produced. Amanda Knox’s successful appeal in a much-publicized Italian murder trial involved challenging a computer-animated reconstruction that was based on flawed forensic evidence. Researchers have also found that the perspective of the videos (first-person, opposite-facing, overhead) sway jurors differently. The above sequence was used in a recent trial to show that the defendant, a police officer charged with manslaughter, would have felt threatened by the deceased’s approaching vehicle. The officer was acquitted, but some commentators questioned the reliability of this CGE.
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