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Mark Geragos A Geocacher?

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From Yahoo News -


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Defense lawyer Mark Geragos will try to convince the judge in the Scott Peterson (news - web sites) double-murder case Wednesday that global positioning technology is inaccurate and unreliable.


Legal experts said he faces an uphill battle, since the technology has been in use for many years by airline pilots and even hikers to pinpoint locations to within a few feet, using signals bounced off satellites.


Geragos has said his client was tracked by Global Positioning System devices placed by authorities in vehicles he drove after his wife, Laci, disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2002. Geragos wants all the GPS tracking evidence excluded from the trial.


"The GPS technology has not been generally accepted by the scientific community," he contended in court papers filed in October.


Geragos faces a gag order and can't comment on what he hopes to gain by keeping the tracking evidence out of the trial. Likewise, prosecutors haven't said how they hope to use the evidence.


If his claims about GPS unreliability fail to persuade Judge Alfred A. Delucchi at the Wednesday hearing, Geragos hopes to prove the device used to track Peterson was operated improperly by Modesto police.


Police used GPS to track Peterson from Jan. 3 through April 22, 2003, when they arrested him near San Diego only days after the bodies of his wife and unborn son surfaced in San Francisco Bay.


GPS was first developed for military use in 1978. In California, prosecutors who use GPS evidence in court are required to establish the device's reliability using properly qualified experts.


Prosecutors not connected to the Peterson trial say this shouldn't pose a problem.


"We all know from how much we use GPS now that it's quite accurate," said Mark Hutchins, senior deputy district attorney in Alameda County. "Airplanes use it. Everyone's got a GPS map thing in their car."

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Peterson Lawyers Debate Sequestered Jury, GPS



Tuesday, February 17, 2004


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Attorneys in the Scott Peterson (search) case headed to court again Tuesday to argue whether GPS tracking evidence should be allowed during his double murder trial and whether the jury should be sequestered.


The judge would also hear arguments on whether to use separate juries for the trial's evidence and sentencing phases. Court began at 12:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. PST) Tuesday in Redwood City.


Rick Distaso and other prosecutors want the judge to admit evidence from a GPS tracking device that police secretly attached to the undercarriages of Peterson’s vehicles to track his whereabouts before his arrest.


Peterson’s defense lawyer, Mark Geragos, is asking the judge to toss out the evidence on the grounds that global positioning system devices aren’t reliable.


Fox News legal analyst Stan Goldman said that there is no California Supreme Court or Court of Appeals decision allowing GPS evidence, but the accuracy of the technology has been well-documented outside the courtroom.


“Chances are, the judge is going to let them in,” Goldman said. “The technology is just too well settled.”


Using the GPS device, police traced Peterson going to the Berkeley marina a number of times, though they also tracked him without the device going to the same spot.


The San Francisco Bay marina is where Peterson said he’d been fishing the day his 8-months-pregnant wife, Laci, disappeared. It’s also where her body and that of the couple’s unborn son, who was to be named Conner, washed ashore four months after she vanished Christmas Eve 2002.


If Judge Alfred A. Delucchi (search) decides the GPS evidence is permissible, it would mark the first time such readings would be allowed in a California criminal trial.


As a result, prosecutors must establish the technology’s reliability using properly qualified experts, and then demonstrate that police used it correctly.


Testimony about police tracking of Peterson's whereabouts began last week, when Geragos tried to poke holes in the accuracy of the GPS devices, particularly when placed secretly on vehicles.


Geragos is arguing that the device on Peterson's vehicles had glitches because it didn’t track all of his client's comings and goings. He has hired his own expert to question how police used it in the case.


Police installed the devices in vehicles Peterson owned, borrowed and rented after Laci Peterson disappeared, saying they trailed him to San Francisco Bay at least once in January.


If he's convicted of the murders of his wife and their unborn son, Peterson could face the death penalty.


Bound by gag orders, neither side has discussed specifics on the information gathered by the tracking devices.


The military developed the satellite-based system, which can pinpoint a user's location at any time, in all weather, anywhere in the world. The decades-old technology is now used by everyone from airline pilots to weekend hikers and Sunday drivers.


Also at issue is whether the jury should be sequestered for the entire trial, expected to last three to four months.


Geragos wants jurors sequestered in a hotel to avoid negative publicity surrounding the case. The prosecution doesn’t on the grounds that it will be difficult to seat a jury if lengthy sequestering is required.


“Chances are, a judge isn’t going to sequester a jury,” Goldman told Fox. “It’s a real financial burden.”


Additionally the ongoing hearing, which likely will take about two weeks total, will touch on whether there should be a different jury for the evidence and sentencing phases of the trial.


The prosecution has argued against that motion, but Geragos wants there to be a different jury deciding on Peterson’s punishment should he be found guilty.


Fox News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and Trace Gallagher and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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I am not clear how GPS is helping convict Petesen. I am led to belive the GPS' primary purpose was to keep track of him as the investigators built their case; they were worried Petersen might flee to Mexico.


Are his attorneys claiming false arrest due to the use of GPS in tracking him? If so, this would have nothing to do with the criminal charges most of which will be supported by forensic evidence.


Am I missing something else here? Forgive my ignorance as I have not been following the case closely. Matter of fact, the info from this tread is the most I read in one sitting.


I did meet a California DOJ investigator (Dept of Justice) involved in Petersen's San Diego arrest. He said they had been tailing Petersen 24 hours a day the few days prior to his arrest, as issuance of an arrest warrant became imminent.

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Morning News

It looks like the Judge will allow the Technologies.

If NASA uses it to dock the Space Shuttle to the Space Station it must be really accurate.

As Kevin Kregel,Space Shuttle Commander of the SRTM Space Radar Topography Mission stated"acuuracy locked on only 4 satellites was within .004 of the Center of a Bullseye placed on a meterior on Feb. 14,shot at with a laser",that year,that was something like several thousands of miles away.

They, NASA mapped out the Debris fields without any questions and is highly accurate.


sp Commander KREGEL not KREIGEL STS 99

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1
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Well I am sure they use both.

But are teaching on the NASA TV that the handheld recievers we have,can get you to within Centimeter accuracy which has been hashed out here in the forums over and over again.

I believe it and have 1st hand knowlege as I was on the Computer and GPS talking to the SRTM Crew while they were lining things up to take the shot,it has to do with some newly found mathmatical formulae I am experimenting with.


I can prove it but am not going through all the explanations here.

Has to do with RADIAN MEASURE.

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