The AV Systems section of the June issue of Government Video includes a story about courtroom multimedia systems, and how those systems can affect a trial.
by J.J. Smith
At the time the decision was made to pursue that story, no one at Government Video knew that a high profile murder trial would be streamed across the country, possibly, around the world.
That case, the State of Florida vs. Casey Marie Anthony, has attracted so many media outlets, that the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida is “doing a lot of stuff for this trial that aren’t done for most trials,” said Karen Levey, a court spokesperson. That includes allowing media access to the court’s multimedia evidence presentation system, she said.
The court’s multimedia system is a fiber-optic system for video and audio that is normally used for arraignments and initial appearances, Levey said. But “for this particular trial” the court has allowed the media to do “inordinate things” including plugging into the court’s system and “streaming it [the proceedings] live onto their various [online] networks,” she said.
To keep the proceedings orderly, the court has imposed some rules including the “Standards of Conduct and Technology Governing Electronic Media and Still Photography Coverage of Judicial Proceedings,” and the “Governing Special Interest/High Profile Proceedings.” Chief Judge Belvin Perry—who is presiding over the Casey Anthony trial and who has made clear that no other recording shall occur in the courtroom outside of the official audio/video pool—signed the latter document. Perry’s order says, “No other devices capable of taking pictures or capturing sound may be operated inside the courtroom. Such devices include, but are not limited to, cell phones, cameras, digital voice recorders or similar technical devices. A person who operates a non-approved device will have the device confiscated by court security and may be held in contempt of court.”
The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida has turned to video technology to ensure that Casey Anthony receives “a fair and orderly trial” while at the same time providing the media—and the general public—with access to the “high profile proceeding.” Case closed.