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Video surveillance footage could prove San Francisco accused innocent

Published by Jennifer on March 12, 2008 3:14 PM

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to a citywide measure that would allow defendants in criminal cases to use recordings from the city's surveillance cameras to prove their innocence. The measure passed by a vote of 7 to 2, and it will require the city to hold on to the footage from 74 cameras for at least 30 days. However, city officials say that this is not possible with the city's existing equipment.

Supporters of the measure believe that allowing accused criminals to use the footage as a defense can help innocent people avoid incarceration. Public defender Jeff Adachi supports the bill; he informed the board that after spending 69 days in jail, two men were exonerated. Assistant District Attorney Michael Troncoso says the men were freed for other reasons-- because the prosecuters "couldn't sustain the burden of proof."

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