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Technology in the Courts: The Digital Courtroom--Long Range and Long Term Advantages; Courtroom 21 Explores Relationship Between Technology and Jurors

NCJ Number
Government Video Volume: 8 Issue: 12 Dated: November 2 Pages: 1997)-40
J T Mathias; J C Twedt; K Garcia
Date Published
4 pages
These articles explain the use of video technology in courts and courtrooms and examine the impact of courtroom technologies on jurors.
Digital transmissions can be transmitted over the same media as analog transmissions, as well as over the Internet and digital satellites. Digital transmissions are also easier to switch from site to site and to transport over networks. Video images transmitted digitally may have lower video quality than those transmitted by analog means. Courts can combine the advantages of analog and digital if a court has fixed sites and need the flexibility to videoconference with other locations on demand. Possible uses include private networks and private/public networks. Courtroom 21 is a joint project of the College of William and Mary's School of Law and the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Va. Courtroom 21 uses mock trials and other experiments to explore the application of technology to all aspects of the legal system. A recent experiment involved an 8-person jury ages 18-70 years to study how the average persons reacts to a trial that makes maximum use of technology. The simulated trial used large visual displays, individual monitors for each juror, a monitor to display the court reporter's verbatim records, live remote witness testimony, and a slideshow by the plaintiff in the civil litigation, which was based on an actual case. Contrary to the expectations of the research staff, the jury generally approved of the use of high-technology presentations and thought that everything should be visual. Their only concern was the number of visual sources and their resulting uncertainty about where to look. Participating companies supplied the equipment for the study. Photographs