© D.L. Crumbley
Technology Captures Jurors: Smart Courts
“Judge Mary Lisi of the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island keeps her eyes glued to two flat-screen panels on the bench. One displays evidence. The other displays testimony translated from the court reporter’s shorthand into English in real time. With an optical mouse, the judge flags key testimony and makes notes on the screen.
Both counsel tables are equipped with a flat-screen monitor, and the jury box is equipped--one for every two jurors--with monitors as well. The courtroom has at its disposal a digital camera that projects the image of documents or objects onto each monitor in the courtroom. Lisi affectionately refers to it as ELMO, the manufacturer’s name.
A self-described technological dinosaur, Lisi presides in a fossil of a courthouse, built during the Theodore Roosevelt administration. The courthouse recently went through rehabilitation and restoration that included state-of-the –art technology which was carefully integrated to avoid sacrificing the courthouse’s historic feel. Source: Jim Mckay, “Show & Tell,” Government Technology, January, 2005, p.16.