Technological advancements are one of the greatest marks of modern global and American cultures. As the decades progress, technology continues to become more sophisticated and accessible to the average consumer and has become a hallmark of twenty-first century life. But how far does technology actually reach into our daily lives?
In the context of the law, technology has changed not only how the legal system operates but also the substance of legal matters. In recent years, there has been an increase in the presence of technology in evidence of criminal matters that has markedly changed the way crimes are committed, solved, and prosecuted.
Currently in New Hampshire, there are active criminal cases where technology may produce critical key evidence. One such case is State of New Hampshire v. Timothy Verrill, a Strafford County Superior Court criminal matter charging Timothy Verrill with the 2017 homicide of Christine Sullivan. The State of New Hampshire prosecutors asserted that an Amazon Echo smart speaker with Alexa voice command capability may have overheard audio recordings capturing the attack of Christine Sullivan. On November 5, 2018, presiding Justice Steven M. Houran ordered Amazon to produce any recordings from the Echo device during the period immediately surrounding the homicide for review of potential evidence. To read the full order, click here.
It’s safe to say that technology will continue to produce and be used as evidence as the years progress, and it’s likely that the rise of such technological evidence will bring about further analysis of tangential matters, including consumer privacy and the requirements of third party companies to comply with evidentiary requests. For more information on the role of technology in criminal and civil matters, contact Liz Nolin at firstname.lastname@example.org.