“New evidence presentation systems have (already) been installed in Bartow, Cobb, Catoosa, Floyd, Paulding and Polk counties,” according to the Seventh Judicial Circuit website. “These systems consist of an Elmo (brand) document camera, touch-screen monitors, projectors and screens, plasma screens and state-of-the-art VCR, DVD and cassette players.”
Walker County Courthouse is the lastest to receive the system.
The network includes five displays for the judge, witness and attorneys. The jury watches the proceedings on a plasma monitor. The judge has access to a “kill switch” to cut off the jury’s monitor if necessary.
Funding for the $20,000 system came from a state allotment through the Council of Superior Court Judges, Seventh District Court Administrator Jody Overcash said. Her goal is to have at least one system in each judicial circuit.
Overcash on Friday led local attorneys and court employees through a demonstration of the new system’s capabilities. She put the unit through the paces by playing a DVD, a videotape, a cassette and displaying a penny at many times its original size.
“You can see Abraham Lincoln’s head,” she said.
Video playback is wired into the courtroom’s existing speakers, and the judge is able to monitor the volume.
Attorneys with laptop computers can easily connect to the system to make presentations. A computer with presentation software is also provided in the courtroom if attorneys wish to bring their evidence on a CD-ROM.
Walker County Assistant District Attorney Beth Evans said the new system would make presenting cases easier for everyone involved in a case.
“It will be nice to be able to enter a picture into evidence using the display so the jury can see it right away,” Evans said. “Instead of them passing around a little picture, or not seeing it until they go out to deliberate.