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Photographic copies exception

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Definition Edit

The photographic copies exception to the best evidence rule is the Uniform Photographic Copies of Business and Public Records Act. This model legislation attempts to deal with the rule in the context of a computerized business world. State courts acting under this law may allow in evidence a copy of an original made by "any process."

Overview Edit

This language is significant in states which do not have specific legislation dealing with the admission of computer-generated evidence.

The federal statute which governs photographic copies of records made in the regular course of business[1] has been used in criminal prosecutions involving computer printouts. The statute allows for the admission in evidence of a reproduction that is "satisfactorily identified" and it reaches private as well as government documents. A federal appeals court has ruled that a defendant may inquire into the input and output procedures in his attempt to attack the reliability of a computer printout offered as evidence.[2]

References Edit

  1. 28 U.S.C. §1732.
  2. United States v. Fendley, 522 F.2d 181 (1975) (full-text).

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