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The courts are also trying to determine whether presentation formats that seem most favored by jurors are in fact the most effective. Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia Over the last several years, interest in high-technology courtrooms has grown.
Traditional litigators and judges whose skills were honed without the newfangled gadgets were not the fastest to embrace new technologies.
As time passed, however, the population of old-school litigators dwindled and interest in litigating in high-technology courtrooms increased.
I had the good fortune over the last two years to be involved with the design and construction of a high-technology courtroom and to be assigned to the courtroom and asked to promote use of the new technologies among the practitioners on my calendar.
At the same time, the Research and Development Division of the D.
Courts developed a survey to capture juror impressions concerning the use of technology during trials. At the end of each trial, I urged jurors to assist our evaluation efforts by completing the survey.
After several months operating this high-technology courtroom, including 11 serious and complex criminal jury trials, and survey responses from deliberating jurors and alternates, I am ready to share some observations about the evolving use and juror impressions of courtroom technology.
High- Technology Equipment in the Courtroom Video Displays There is fair debate concerning the preference for large monitors to which all eyes are directed versus smaller individual or jointly shared monitors installed in the jury An argument in favor of trying juveniles as an adult.
Among counsel, the preference is for large monitors. In many technology-enabled courtrooms, images are projected on a screen by a liquid-crystal-display LCD projector. The equipment in my courtroom includes a 72" x 72" drop-down projection screen; a 5, lumen LCD projector; and, for jury and audience viewing, four inch diagonal, high-definition flat-screen monitors.
The LCD projector and screen provide an inch diagonal image, which explains why the parties and I often prefer to project images of evidence on that screen for primary viewing.
As is totally understandable, however, the projector image is larger and more easily seen, but the smaller monitor image is often superior in terms of sharpness and clarity. I believe that flat-screen monitors, with their superior image display and falling prices, offer the best hope for larger and more affordable video displays in technology-enhanced courtrooms.
Annotation Monitors Annotation monitors allow witnesses to mark an exhibit with notations that can be preserved for later viewing.
For example, the markings can show where a person was standing in an area shown in a particular picture or where a crucial event occurred on a particular piece of evidence, such as where a metal fracture occurred or where failed equipment was not properly aligned during manufacture or construction.
Once the notations are made on the monitor, additional markings may be added to identify the witness responsible for the notations, all of which may be preserved by printing a color copy of the exhibit. Witness Monitor The witness stand should have its own monitor. This monitor should have the annotation feature that allows the witness to make marks electronically on the displayed image.
A witness monitor also allows presentation of the evidence to the witness, not viewable by the jury, to elicit testimony concerning the authenticity and relevance of the exhibit.
When the exhibit is moved into evidence, the exhibit then may be displayed on the other courtroom monitors for the jury. Evidence Camera An evidence camera is indispensible for a technology-ready courtroom.
No other piece of equipment surpasses this item in its ability to encourage litigants to use technology during in-court proceedings. An evidence camera instantaneously converts a paper document or physical exhibit to an electronic image, with the ability to enlarge and reduce the image as needed.
An evidence camera can enlarge, for example, a 4" x 6" photograph or the face of a wristwatch for all to see on the courtroom monitors or projection screen. This configuration permits the two opposing sides each to have their individual input location and a spare input if another is needed.
This is helpful if either or both inputs for the opposing parties should become disabled which happened in my courtroom when some unauthorized person rearranged the furniture and snapped one of the fragile fiber-optic cables. One cannot overlook that, instead of a PC-type device, a fair number of litigators use the Mac, iPad, and other Apple computers.
Courtroom Printing and Electronic Storage of Exhibits A color courtroom printer remains a staple of the technology-ready courtroom for printing images of exhibits on which witnesses have made electronic markings.
In addition to printing copies of images and markings and other notations for review by the judge or jury during deliberations, paper copies are often needed to satisfy the primeval urge for paper backups just in case the electronic Xs and Os disappear into the ether.
An interesting alternative is preserving exhibits and markings electronically and providing the jury a laptop computer, kiosk, or other device to scroll through all of the electronic exhibits.
Obviously, eliminating any need to make an electronic image of the paper copy saves time and avoids a further decrease in image quality. While it is possible to allow counsel to determine when a video is displayed or audio is played, it is normally best to leave "traffic cop" control in the hands of the judge or courtroom clerk trained to perform this job.
If the judge is not interested in performing this function, the courtroom clerk must have the training to perform this job.The is an American Science Fiction series airing on The attheheels.com is very loosely based on Kass Morgan's novel series of the same name.
The series begins in , 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse devastated Earth. The District of Columbia Courts are evaluating what works best in a high-tech courtroom for making presentations and instructing juries.
The courts are also trying to determine whether presentation formats that seem most favored by jurors are in fact the most effective. From Boston Review: Know Thy attheheels.com’s an attempt to classify and analyze various types of futurism, in much the same way that a Jack Chick tract could be described as “an attempt to classify and analyze various types of religion”.
Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and attheheels.com the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.
From Boston Review: Know Thy attheheels.com’s an attempt to classify and analyze various types of futurism, in much the same way that a Jack Chick tract could be described as “an attempt to classify and analyze various types of religion”.