Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Accelerometers, motion capture suits, and matter ports

No, not a 1950s Sci-Fi movie, but the courtroom in Sanford, Florida where the George Zimmerman murder trial is taking place. Daniel Schumaker--President, Contrast Forensics--who is in business to reconstruct crime scenes and accidents for the creation of videos to be used in legal proceedings was attempting to explain to the court why his animation video should be allowed into evidence.  Which is something he's had to do before (about 60 times), as in the Greenberg murder trial in Placerville, California;
The testimony of Daniel Schumaker, accident and crime scene reconstructionist, began with information on his background and exactly what he does for a living. Schumaker explained that his job is to take facts from crimes and turn them into graphics in order to help explain certain occurrences. He uses various types of software to reconstruct these scenes into diagrams, such as a Sokkia Mobile Station and a laser surveying device.
Schumaker also uses a motion capture suit in order to help recreate these crime scenes. The suit contains 16 sensors that link up and communicate with a crash-test dummy on a computer screen. Every time a person in the suit moves, the exact actions are mimicked by the dummy on the screen in real time.
The videos have been admitted in every case in which they have been challenged, according to Schumaker.  The prosecutors of George Zimmerman have gone to a great deal of trouble to prevent the jurors from seeing Schumaker's work in this case. Which leaves the judge in a dilemna; if she rules differently than California courts and disallows it, that's potentially reversible error should (very unlikely) Zimmerman be convicted.

Something she's aware of, as she came close to apologizing to the prosecutors yesterday because she had no choice but to allow toxicology evidence into evidence then.  If she didn't allow it, she said, that could be reversible error.

As this post is being written, the argument continues. Exposing, if nothing else, extremely poor courtroom management skills on the part of Judge Debra Nelson.

No comments:

Post a Comment