Can You Use Autopsy Photographs As Evidence In Court ?

"Autopsy photographs are generally admissible unless they depict mutilation of the victim caused by the autopsy itself." Rojas v. State, 986 S.W.2d 241, 249 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998). See also Santellan v. State, 939 S.W.2d 155 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997), Burdine v. State, 719 S.W.2d 309 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986). In Rojas and Santellan, the main concern was that the jury might attribute certain injuries caused by the autopsy to the appellant, which would be unfairly prejudicial to the appellant's case. See: Rojas, 986 S.W.2d at 249 (autopsy photographs admissible because the depicted gun shot wounds and trauma to the pelvic area were a result of appellant's actions, not the performance of the autopsy); Santellan, 939 S.W.2d at 173 (a change rendered as part of the autopsy process which is of minor significance does not prevent the admission of the picture when the disturbing nature of the photograph is due primarily to the injuries caused by appellant).