In This Courtroom, The Debate Will Be Televised
Pennsylvania District Judge Carmine Prestia says he plans to increase his use of video-conferencing of arraignment trials as a way to speed up the process, obviate the need to transfer prisoners, and also save the state gas money.
Prestia says equipping local police and district judges with video-conferencing would enable judges not just to conduct arraignments, but also approve warrants from court or from home.
Prestia has devices at home and at court and on Dec. 21, 2005 approved a warrant request via video, a process that saved the requesting government agent about four hours in total drive time.
The Cumberland County, Pa., court has been using video-conferencing since 1999, but other nearby courthouses have not tried it. Newly sworn-in District Court judge Brad Lunsford says he prefers to see the defendant with his own eyes. “I think the quality of justice is slightly diminished when we go too far with technology,” says Lunsford.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Centre Daily Times (PA) (12/30/05) P. A5; Smeltz, Adam .