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Child Pornography Virginia Evidence Electronic Files Attorneys New Kent County

Child Pornography Virginia Evidence Electronic Files Attorneys New Kent County

Lawson v. Commonwealth
Facts:

Defendant was indicted for possession of child pornography, in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-374.1:1. After the Court of Appeals of Virginia affirmed his convictions, he appealed, challenging the admission into evidence of digital video recordings and still images of child pornography reproduced from electronic files on digital video discs (DVDs) copied from hard drives found in his computer.

Child Pornography Virginia Evidence Electronic Files Attorneys New Kent County

Child Pornography Virginia Evidence Electronic Files Attorneys

Issue:
  • Whether the circuit court abused its discretion in receiving digital images into evidence?
Discussions:

Defendant argued that because pornographic images of children were the contraband in prosecutions under Va. Code § 18.2-374.1:1, and because digital images were subject to manipulation, the court should extend the best evidence rule to those images. Affirming, the court noted that a forensic digital evidence scientist had been qualified as an expert and testified at trial that a bit for bit copy of a hard drive was considered forensically to be an original. She also testified that she made a bit for bit copy of the hard drives in defendant’s computer and identified the photographs and video clips as accurate representations of the child pornography she viewed on the digital reproduction she made. Defendant did not assert that the admitted photographs or video clips were in any way manipulated or altered from the images that resided on his computer’s hard drives. Based on the record, the court concluded that the printed pictures and video recordings were reliable representations of the material contained in the digital image and video recording files on defendant’s computer hard drives. Thus, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in receiving them into evidence.

The SRIS Law Group Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your sex crime case. Contact a Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your sex crime case. A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your sex crime case in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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