Is It Legal to Show ''Gruesome Photos'' to the Jury (As Evidence) ?
In Barnes v. State, 876 S.W.2d 316, 325-26 (Tex. Crim. App. 1994) the Court of Criminal Appeals held that a claim that the photographs were submitted by the State purely to "inflame the passion of the jury" was unfounded. Id.
Rather, the Court stated, the Rules limit a review of this type of evidence to a determination of whether the probative value of the photos is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. Id. (referencing the former Rules of Criminal Evidence).
The Court went on to affirm the trial court's decision to admit the photographs in question, stating that, "although the photographs are gruesome and detailed, they are not enhanced in any way and portray no more than the injuries inflicted." Barnes, 876 S.W.2d at 326.