Tech Tips, 0222 WYBJ, Vol. 45 No. 1. 44

AuthorBlake A. Klinkner
PositionVol. 45 1 Pg. 44

Tech Tips

Vol. 45 No. 1 Pg. 44

Wyoming Bar Journal

February, 2022

Should Still Photos Derived from a Video Be Automatically Admissible Along With the Video Itself ?

Blake A. Klinkner

Washburn University School of Law Topeka, Kansas

The recent trial of Kyle Rittenhouse made national news for a number of reasons, including for showcasing legal disputes involving the use of technology in the courtroom. One particular interaction that drew the ire of legal technology observers involved a dispute over whether pausing and zooming within a video played on an iPad involves artificial intelligence, algorithms, and the alteration of images to a degree that required expert testimony in support of admissibility. The Rittenhouse court's ruling here was widely derided and ridiculed in the technology community, and calls have been made for better understanding of commonplace technologies which may be employed in the courtroom, including and especially video-graphic and photographic technologies. For example, should still images derived from a video be automatically admissible at trial if the video itself is admissible? Or are the derivative still images unique and problematic in their own ways to a degree warranting separate authentication and admissibility?

Courtroom disputes often arise when a party wishes to use exhibits featuring still images from a video, even where the video itself has been stipulated to by the parties or has otherwise been received into the evidentiary record. The proponent of isolating frames from the video and using the still images as separate exhibits will argue that the images are part of a greater series of frames—the video itself—which is already viewable by the jury. Accordingly, employing still images as exhibits is little more than "pausing" the video at select moments, which is something that the proponent could do for the jury anyway.

Opponents of providing the jury with still frames derived from already-admitted videos will often argue that, somehow, copying a still image from the video alters the image in a way that makes it technologically different from the image presented in the video, such that the still image must be treated as an entirely distinct image that now requires independent authentication and expert introduction.1 Where the original video is admissible as a business record, opponents of still images often argue that still images from the original video do not themselves qualify as...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT