This month the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office purchased a Coherent Inc. TracER™ Laser System for their Forensic Sciences Division. This luminescence device is an 8watt 532nm high performance portable system that will be used at crime scenes to locate trace evidence of fingerprints, skin, body fluids, fibers bone fragments and even narcotics residue. The Tracer Laser System is said to provide law enforcement with an unprecedented level of investigative examination. The intensity of the laser is such that it can locate evidence that could previously go undetected.
How Does the TracER™ Laser System Work?
The instrument weighs under 45 pounds, has an instant on/off capability and operates on AC current in a laboratory setting. However, it also has its own built in battery power supply. This enables the TracER™ to be portable at crime scenes for up to 90 minutes. The battery is capable of recharging through a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Lasers are considered the optimum light source for non-destructive latent evidence detection. Blocking filters, goggles, a fifteen-foot flexible fiber optic cable and a built-in camera combine to create “spectral brightness” to uncover and to image capture trace evidence. The manufacture promotes the machine by saying that CSI technicians will be able to see more at a crime scenes in less time.
What Other Types of Evidence the Laser Can Uncover?
- Gunshot residue
- Blood (Including, old blood covered in fresh paint)
How Can a Laser Impact my Pinellas Criminal Case?
A laser is capable of uncovering both incriminating and exculpatory evidence. “Exculpatory evidence” is evidence that tends to excuse, justify or absolve the alleged fault or guilt of a criminal defendant. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland requires the prosecution to turn over exculpatory evidence to your attorney. In fact, the Brady decision says that prosecutors and law enforcement have a “duty” to disclose all material and relevant evidence that is favorable to the accused. The Supreme Court ruled that this obligation is supported by your constitutional right to due process and is consistent with the prosecutor’s obligation to “seek justice.”
The TracER™ has been available to police departments for the past eleven years. The manufacturer’s earlier laser, “The Incriminator” was released for law enforcement use in 1997. This technology has long used by the FBI, the military and other law enforcement agencies across the country. This begs the question as to why it took the PCSO so long to secure this instrument? If the PCSO investigation in your case occurred prior to the purchase of the laser, it could be argued that their investigation was conducted in a slip-sod elementary fashion. The argument goes that “had the laser been employed in your case, it may have uncovered evidence suggesting that the offense was committed by one or more other individuals. This could lead a jury to find “reasonable doubt” in your case, justifying a “not guilty” verdict. Florida’s Standard Jury Instruction Chapter 3.7 states that “A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence, or the lack of evidence.” Further, that “If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty.”
How Our Clearwater - St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Team Can Help
Attorneys Marc Pelletier and Timothy Sullivan are former State Prosecutors. Their background and experience can be used to evaluate the police practices employed in your case. They can also point to the failure of law enforcement to take steps that would be considered prudent in an otherwise thorough investigation. These Pinellas County defense attorneys are highly dedicated to leaving “no stone unturned” in the meticulous review and preparation of their clients’ cases.
The Law Offices of Russo Pelletier & Sullivan, P.A.
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9721 Executive Center Drive North
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
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