Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

APPEALS COURT DECISION IN FLORIDA FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE CASE EXPLAINED



Readers who are puzzling over the importance of the Florida Supreme Court case styled Lynch vs. State of Florida, 260 So.3d 266 ( Fla 1st Dist. 2018) which deals with whether law enforcement must give criminal defendants, who are identified through the use of facial recognition software (FRS) technology, all the results of that inquiry, might find this summary on point:

"Defendant failed to establish that his access to, and possible admission at trial of photographs in facial-recognition system of potential suspects other than defendant, which were ruled out as possible matches by crime analyst, would have led to different result at trial, would have led to different result at trial, and this defendant failed to demonstrate prejudice under Brady. 

Defendant did not establish that the other photographs resembled him, defendant's attorney stated on record that she did not want to call the crime analyst who evaluated the photos because the analyst's testimony that defendant was man in photos of suspect sent to her from police officers would only corroborate officers' testimony. and jury convicted only after comparing photos officers took to defendant himself, and confirmed photos to be defendant." (Headnote 1, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D96).

Until and unless the Florida Supreme Court weighs in, and since it is not an appeal as a matter of right, but alleged Conflict Certiorari, which the Court may not adopt, the District Court decision is the rule in Florida. Prosecutors need not turn over all the results obtained by law enforcement operators of facial recognition software systems, when they employ the FRS system to identify a targeted defendant.

The First District Court of Appeal decision may be accessed here.

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