In Crime's Archive: The Cultural Afterlife of Criminal Evidence
British Journal of Criminology, (advance access) August 13, 2013
32 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2013 Last revised: 5 Aug 2018
Date Written: December 1, 2013
This article explores the cultural afterlife of criminal evidence. During the criminal trial, strict rules govern the collection, admission and interpretation of evidence at trial. However, after the conclusion of the trial, this material returns to a notional ‘archive’ and is sometimes used by artists, scholars, curators and others, but subject to no rules nor standards. This article examines a range of instances in which criminal evidence has been used post-trial, and proposes a jurisprudence of sensitivity for responding to the harm that is sometimes done when criminal evidence leads a cultural afterlife.
Note: A full-length book on this subject is now published, titled In Crime's Archive: The cultural afterlife of evidence, by Katherine Biber (Routledge, 2018).
Keywords: criminal evidence, crime scene photographs, visual criminology, open justice
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