Magazine article Corrections Forum

Lawyers Can Now Call Witnesses by Remote Control

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Lawyers Can Now Call Witnesses by Remote Control

Article excerpt

Christian Science Monitor

In the last five years, federal and state courts throughout the United States have implemented new videoconferencing technology that permits access between prisoners and courts in rural areas. At the Boone County, Mo., Courthouse, Sheriff Ted Boehm surmises that the technology's $80,000 price tag has paid for itself in under three years. Videoconferencing enables prisoners to be arraigned without physically being present in a courtroom, and thus saves transportation time and cost, or allows witnesses from across the country to testify electronically, thus wrapping up cases faster. At the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Judge Nancy Gertner improves the delivery of proof and testimony through videoconferencing; by employing a touch-screen panel, she is able to show the jury an article of evidence or a relevant Web page. Michigan is now working to install the country's initial Id cybercourt," in which a judge and clerk would be the sole living occupants of a courtroom, and would be connected to attorneys, parties, and proof through videoconferencing and the Internet. …

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