The advent of online video links as evidence has the potential to unsettle the way judges do their work, reports the New York Times. The first citation in a petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court last month was not to an affidavit or a legal precedent, but rather to a YouTube video link. The video shows what is either appalling police brutality or a measured response to an arrested man’s intransigence, depending on the viewer’s perspective. Such evidence could disrupt the way appellate judges do their work, according to a new study in the Harvard Law Review. If Supreme Court justices can see for themselves what happened in a case, the study suggests, they might be less inclined to defer to the factual findings of jurors and to the conclusions of lower-court judges. Video creates a danger, the study said, of "decision-making hubris" by judges. Many judges do not seem to understand, said Jessica Silbey, a law professor at Suffolk University in Boston, that video is not categorical or irrefutable proof like DNA, but only a partial, volatile, and dangerously persuasive account of what happened…

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