When Criminal Evidence Goes Viral

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald through Forensic Mag

Should we be able to watch a man being tasered to death?
That’s a question being asked by legal scholar Katherine Biber who is researching what she calls the cultural afterlife of criminal evidence.
Last December, at the request of his family, a video of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti being tasered by New South Wales Police in a violent and ultimately lethal arrest  was released by the coroner inquiring into his death and widely disseminated by Australian and international media.
Previously subject to strict rules of evidence during a trial and rarely seen by anyone outside of court confines, an increasing amount of material — everything from crime scene photos, police interview tapes and CCTV footage — is finding its way onto media websites, social media platforms, into scholarly works,  and even museums and  art galleries.
The more sensational material often takes on a cultural life of its own, appropriated for artistic or entertainment purposes that have nothing to do with its origins.

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