ERIC Number: ED168097
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Feb
Reference Count: 0
An Overview of Research on the Use of Videotape in the Courtroom and in Legal Education.
Kessler, Joan B.
The literature and research about the courtroom use of videotape recordings and similar technology (such as the picturephone and closed circuit television) reveal conflicting opinions about the efficacy of using such technology in the courts. The major criticism seems to be about recording the testimony of witnesses, editing objectionable testimony, and showing the resulting videotape to the jury; this procedure arouses concern for the constitutional issues of right to confrontation, right to counsel and effective assistance of counsel, privilege against self-incrimination, and due process. Opponents argue that spatial and temporal discontinuities will result from editing procedures; and they wonder who should decide the ordering of testimony on the tape and how lawyers can effectively cross-examine a witness (during a videotape recording) without knowing how a judge will rule on challenges by opposing counsel. The advantages of videotape in trials are the speeding up of the judicial process (reducing courtroom time by a half to a third) and the deletion of inadmissable evidence before such evidence reaches the jury. The court decisions and research so far conclude that the "reel" and the "real" are roughly equivalent, with no impairment of legal rights resulting from videotape use. This positive response and the current use of videotape as a law school teaching aid indicate that major social changes in our view of courtroom justice are forthcoming. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Los Angeles, California, February 18-21, 1979)