Are Autopsy Photographs Admissible ?
While Nevada court has not addressed the display of autopsy photographs through projection systems, we note that other state courts have approved of this method of facilitating the testimony of a medical examiner.
See, e.g., People v. Harris, 633 P.2d 1095, 1098 (Colo. Ct. App. 1981) (no error in permitting autopsy photographs to be displayed to jury via projected color slides); Keperling v. State, 699 A.2d 317, 319 (Del. 1997) (where photographic slides are admissible evidence, allowing their projection before jury does not constitute error); Ottis v. State, 269 Ga. 151, 496 S.E.2d 264, 269 (Ga. 1998) (projection method of presenting photographs of murder victim is permissible absent distortion or disproportion of what is depicted).
Nevada court has previously approved of the use of enlargements for such purposes. See Thomas v. State, 114 Nev. 1127, 1141, 967 P.2d 1111, 1120-21 (1998) (enlarged diagram of murder victim's body), cert. denied, U.S., 120 S. Ct. 85, 145 L. Ed. 2d 72 (1999);
see also Lloyd v. State, 94 Nev. 167, 169, 576 P.2d 740, 742 (1978) (enlarged photograph depicting injuries to rape victim).
Additionally, we have long recognized the generally sanctioned rule that images properly admissible as photographs "may be projected to illustrate the testimony of witnesses." State v. Kuhl, 42 Nev. 185, 204, 175 P. 190, 196 (1918).