Cameras are everywhere these days. It’s almost like everyone can be a celebrity because, between smartphones, security cameras, and television cameras catching the latest headline-grabbing story, virtually everyone is on camera at some point.
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With cameras virtually around every corner, it is a wonder how criminals sometimes get away with crimes that occur right on camera. On the one hand, cameras have been effective in helping law- enforcement catch more suspects and solve more cases than ever before. On the other hand, cameras can miss important contextual details with incidents that a good criminal defense lawyer could exploit for the benefit of his or her client.
Another challenge is that cameras don’t catch every single detail, including recognizing specific individuals, usually because the camera is not a high enough resolution or is in a bad location. In that case, law enforcement may be hamstrung when investigating a crime, such as an example in Miami recently.
A theft occurred on camera, right in the street, and yet police are only able to get general descriptions of the men who committed the crime. The case involved two men who got into a physical fight on the street. One man was knocked unconscious in the fight, and the other man stole his wallet. Two other men were in the shot and were apparent accomplices of the suspect. However, no actual identifications could be made from the video.
The police have resorted to putting out descriptions of the men in the video hoping to develop leads, but the descriptions were lacking in detail – only that the suspects were of a certain skin color, a height range, and an estimated weight, with no descriptions of clothing, tattoos or any other distinguishing features.
While excellent police work will ultimately get those who are responsible for this crime, they have a challenge to go through and find every person in the Miami area who could fit the description of the men on camera – which will mean many hours of legwork and time for the suspects to fade into the crowd and possibly not be found again.
Even with cameras trained, criminal defense attorneys still have opportunities to vigorously defend the innocence of clients. Because the truth is, while cameras are ubiquitous in today’s society, they are not omniscient. Cameras don’t always get every kernel of fact and truth that goes into a criminal case.
The point is that while cameras are a great advance in national and personal security, they are not things to fear but respect. They will catch most things, but they are not fool-proof. With a strong alibi and a good criminal defense lawyer, you can beat the camera and maintain your innocence for crimes.