In San Francisco, defense attorneys are using the ubiquitous video cameras to support their clients’ cases.

They have also become a tool exploited by defense lawyers who often seek footage from the cameras to exonerate falsely accused clients. The footage is not monitored in real time, but can be reviewed upon request by attorneys, police and prosecutors.

Nearly one-third of 109 requests for footage made last year came from defense attorneys, according to data supplied by The City in response to a public records request by The San Francisco Examiner.

Criminal defendants have been cleared or had charges reduced when footage proved their alibis or disproved police or witnesses’ accounts of incidents.

Interesting use of technology; particularly one designed to assist the other side of the bar.

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