Police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland have charged two individuals with first-degree murder in the case of an August 9, 2010 shooting that occurred during a robbery at a Glen Burnie 7-Eleven store. Although the surveillance video was not central to the arrest of the suspects, which occurred following an unrelated shooting at a local Mr. Wings & Pizza, the video is being used to seek a third suspect.
Maryland police often rely on surveillance video in their efforts to reduce crime, including Baltimore’s controversial “blue light cameras,” of which there are more than 500, speeding and red light cameras, which are becoming more prevalent on Maryland roads, and security cameras from local businesses. Often, these cameras present serious evidentiary issues in criminal cases, and sometimes the use of video improperly obtained by the police can violate an individual’s Constitutional rights. An experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney is essential to protect all of the rights of a criminal defendant.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has found that video of a person in a public place generally does not intrude on an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy. In contrast, however, the Maryland Court of Appeals has found that warrantless video surveillance inside a person’s home does violate an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights. Regardless of how video evidence has been obtained, such evidence can be the deciding factor in a criminal case. Without the aid of an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer who has developed a keen understanding of Maryland rules of evidence, a criminal defendant often faces an unfair, unwinnable fight in the courts.
An interesting use of surveillance video by police occurred this month in New York. On December 22nd, a woman’s body was found in a suitcase in East Harlem. The police scoured local surveillance video and came across the following video which eventually led to a suspect’s arrest in the case.