It’s the first time such evidence was used in a criminal trial, and opens the door to a series of legal questions, namely because facial recognition technology is neither definitively accurate nor up to basic legal standards for evidence.
The case was for Charles Heard, who received a sentence of 25 years to life for murder.
Surveillance cameras captured footage of a man believed to have shot and killed another in an armed robbery. Defense attorneys submitted still frames from the video and offered testimony from a biometrics expert who said comparisons demonstrate that Heard was not the shooter.
Homeland Security Newswire reports:
In Germany officials found that the technology only had a 60 percent success rate in identifying people during the day, while at night it dropped to as low as 10 percent due to poor lighting conditions that made accurate identification difficult.
Despite the footage, Heard was eventually convicted by a jury.
But it raises an interesting question: is biometric technology accurate enough to be admitted as evidence alongside scientific standards such as DNA and fingerprints?
Illustration: Ajmal Mian/University of Western Australia