Commonwealth v. Weeden

The Pennsylvania Superior Court whittled away at criminal defendants’ right to confront their accusers. Here, the defendant appealed after a jury convicted him of aggravated assault and firearms offenses. The defendant claimed he never fired a shot and the complaining witness fabricated the event because he had just financially cut her off. The Commonwealth presented ShotSpotter evidence; ShotSpotter is technology municipalities use to listen for gunshots digitally, locate where gunshots came from, and help deploy police to that location. Over defense objections, the ShotSpotter report was admitted to prove where the gunshots were located, though no competent witness authenticated the printed report. Relying on its recent decision in Commonwealth v. Wallace, the Superior Court held that the report was not hearsay because it was automatically generated by a computer and was not a statement made by a person. The Court then held that the report was not testimonial in nature.

WEEDEN