GPS allowed

Major Variola (ret.) mv at
Wed Feb 18 09:25:14 PST 2004

Feb 18, 8:16 AM (ET)


(AP) Sharon Rocha, mother of murder victim Laci Peterson, enters the San
Mateo Superior Courthouse after...
Full Image

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) - A judge ruled that evidence police gathered
using electronic devices to track Scott Peterson after his pregnant wife
disappeared can be used in his murder trial, despite defense objections
that the technology is unreliable.

Because global positioning system technology has yet to be tested in
state criminal court, prosecutors had to establish its reliability and
demonstrate the technology was used correctly.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi decided Tuesday they had met those legal tests.

Peterson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, tried to convince the judge that
temporary glitches rendered unreliable the devices that Modesto police
secretly attached to vehicles Peterson drove before his April 2003

Hugh Roddis, president of the company that sold Modesto police the three
devices, said that covertly placed global positioning devices are a
"good investigative tool."

The satellite-based radio navigation system can pinpoint locations
within feet and is in common use, including in commercial aircraft.

Geragos seized on tracking errors in several of the devices Modesto
police used, including one that he said didn't work for nearly three

Roddis blamed the errors on inaccurate maps, a faulty wireless antenna
and a bad microprocessor connection.

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