The most beneficial technology that is now being used in some aspect of the court system.

Criminal Justice

The most beneficial technology that is now being used in some aspect of the court system.

A beneficial technology, based on the study by Johnson and Wiggins (2006), is videoconferencing. These authors explore the extent of use of videoconferencing and particular application such as in first time appearances and arraignments. As described in the article by Johnson and Wiggins (2006, p. 211), videoconferencing carries the benefit of “…time and cost savings for the courts as well  as other participants, such as attorneys or witnesses…” This explanation of benefits is in regards to the long distances that parties in a court proceeding would for instance have to travel in order for the proceeding to take place. A further argument of the benefits is that the advances in technologies both in visual and audio transmission allow videoconferencing to possess most of ht hallmarks of a legacy count room. I thus believe that videoconferencing is a benefit to the court process.

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A more convincing perspective, in addition to the benefits drawn from Johnson and Wiggins (2006), is that the necessity of videoconferencing has become more apparent in the wake of COVID-19. An article in The Washington Post by Marimow (2020) is an example explaining why this is the case. According to Marimow (2020) federal judiciary, in a significant change of rules, allowed criminal cases to be tried via teleconferencing; a move that came in as a solution to the impossibility of in-person and in-court sessions during the COVID-19 period. Previously, as per Marimow (2020), federal judiciary did not allow teleconferencing in criminal cases and even in the current context it was triggered by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Looking at the limiting factors of videoconferencing expressed by Johnson and Wiggins (2006) I believe there is a high net benefit to applying this technology in the current courtroom. The limitations are that the defendant’s fundamental rights are violated including right to due process, confrontation of witness, and representation by counsel. However, based on circumstances including the overwhelming cases burdening the justice system, and situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the the technology has much benefits to the society in general.

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I initially had leaned towards visual and animation technologies as presented by Dunn, Salovey and Feigenson (2006) and Ponder (2005) but I think videoconferencing is a more convincing, and new approach, in how courtrooms conduct hearings. I found videoconferencing particularly interesting given that federal judiciary recently allowed its used in criminal cases and as reported by Marimow (2020), the overarching discussion of whether the changes would finally convince the criminal justice system of the efficiencies of certain technologies that have been barred for a long time now.


Dunn, M. A., Salovey, P., & Feigenson, N. (2006). The jury persuaded (and not): Computer animation in the courtroom. Law & Policy, 28(2), 228-248.

Johnson, M. T., & Wiggins, E. C. (2006). Videoconferencing in criminal proceedings: Legal and empirical issues and directions for research. Law & Policy, 28(2), 211-227.

Marimow, A., 2020. Federal Courts Shuttered By Coronavirus Can Hold Hearings By Video And Teleconference In Criminal Cases. [online] The Washington Post. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 November 2020].

Ponder, J. B. (2005). But look over here: how the use of technology at trial mesmerizes jurors and secures verdicts. Law & Psychol. Rev., 29, 289.

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