E-Courtrooms Designed To Reduce Trial Time
A 1997 Administration Office Courtroom Project poll found that 80 percent of judges had experienced or planned to utilize advanced courtroom technology. South Carolina now has seven courtrooms with gadgets that include bench displays so judges can review spoken testimony as it is recorded, touch-screen witness box monitors, large-screen monitors for public viewing, and jury box monitors.
The increased efficiency in displaying evidence and tracking documents lessens the amount of time needed for trials. Jack Swerling, defense attorney in an abduction and rape case, says he can stay on top of the case more with a real-time transcription device that produces a textual version of the trial as it is being recorded by the court reporter.
He finds no disadvantages to the use of electronics. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Schools says the most time is saved with the evidence presentation system with video monitors.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Associated Press (09/21/04) .