At its foundation, courtroom technology is a means for putting evidence before everyone in the courtroom—the judge, the jurors, the opposing lawyers, the courtroom support staff, and even onlookers— at the same time. The streamlining of the litigation process through the implementation of advanced communication technologies has enhanced the court’s ability to meet the needs of the bar and the public, while preserving the dignity and fairness of the proceedings. Since we are five times as likely to remember something we both see and hear, the audio/visual means of presentation implemented in the courtrooms increases both efficiency and juror comprehension.
With minimal training, attorneys can present photos, documents, objects, videotapes and electronic presentations to focus juror attention on critical details. The Video Presenter cart serves as the heart of the well-concealed electronics in the courtroom. The system allows counsel to switch from displaying exhibits, video recordings or multimedia presentations with the push of a button. Some of the advanced technology integrated into the courtrooms include:
- A document camera which can be used to display exhibits such as documents or medium-sized three-dimensional objects
- VGA connections to display multimedia presentations or images from a portable computer allowing documents, images, etc. to be displayed on any monitor in the courtroom
- A visual image printer to produce a print of any image displayed through the system On-screen drawing and highlighting to emphasize specific details for display throughout the courtroom
- Realtime transcription from the court reporter can be shown on counsel laptops, with prior arrangements with the court reporter
- A video cassette recorder
- 17" flat panel video displays located on each counsel table, and between each pair of jurors to make visual display efficient
In addition to large flat screen monitors for gallery viewing, infrared listening assistance and translation is available to all participants. Technology-ready counsel tables provide quick-connect capability for video input, audio input, and realtime transcription. Counsel can bring portable computer equipment to plug into discreetly concealed ports to access the electronics in the courtroom.
The courtroom is augmented by fully integrated video and audio conferencing systems. Two video-conferencing cameras are focused on the Judge and witness, as well as the presenter at the lectern. A camera with pan, tilt and zoom capabilities and a gooseneck mounted camera at the witness box can also be accessed. The equipment can be used for remote witness testimony, pretrial conferences or other court proceedings. The use of this technology is easily controlled from a touch panel controller at the Deputy's bench.