Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kind of Cool Stuff Coming

While handling a case on the 20th floor's State Jail Court last week, I happened to duck into the Ceremonial Courtroom for a minute. When I walked in, several of the County's technology gurus were doing some experimenting with some audio/visual equipment that they told me they ultimately hoped to have in place all of the courtrooms of the CJC in the not-too distant future.

Considering the fact that technology (especially big screen TVs) is like crystal meth to me, I was really excited by this news. The idea being to place three 50 inch flat screens in each courtroom that can be easily viewed by the prosecutors, the defense, and (most importantly) the jury.

There will be one where the current televisions are. This one will be easily viewable by the jury and by the prosecution. As a side note, the current "big screen" televisions they have really remind me of the ones they had at Mr. Gatti's when I was growing up in Bryan.


One will be over the shoulders of the jurors (which will be easily viewable from the Defense counsel's side of the table).
And one on the opposite wall which will also be easily viewable by the jury.


I'm very excited about the idea of putting voir dires on a PowerPoint presentation that can be clearly seen by the jury panel, and incorporating multi-media presentations into all aspects of a jury trial.
My understanding is that the televisions will be funded by Asset Forfeitures coming out of the D.A.'s Office.
[NOTE: In my original post on this, I gave credit to Lykos and the Gang for sharing the wealth, but as it turns out, the plan was actually implemented by Ken Magidson. See, even when I try to be nice to Snookems, the truth stops me.]
Now if I could just get a set up like this in my living room . . .


23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Murray, regarding your Voir Dires on Powerpoint....if you like Powerpoint, look into the Apple Program "Keynote" which is part of the Apple I-Work package. It's has the most eye-popping screen transitions you've ever seen....comparing it to Powerpoint is like comparing High Definition to a 1950' black and white tube television set. It makes Powerpoint look like something from the Stone Age.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 3:34 p.m., you're tempting me. I've been thinking of making the leap to Apple for awhile. They definitely do put on a more visually impressive display.

I wonder if I could Apple to give me some free stuff for sponsorship?

"Apple's Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Leroy said...

murray you should have like open friday and let anyone leave a comment without the use of the comment moderation. recall first right amendments and see how it would be even on one day a week. just a thought

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this improvement put forth by Ken Magidson. I know he proposed it and I think he submitted it to the Commissioners Court. You might want to check on that. I mean we already have to thank Lykos for showing us how the good old boy system is supposed to really work, the loss of so much talent and the general demise of the what was once the best prosecutor's office in the nation. By the way, I don't remember Ken Magidson proposing hard wood floors for his office while he was the District Attorney.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 10:35 a.m.,
Thanks for the correction. I updated the post.

Anonymous said...

Lykos will take the credit from anyone as long as she thinks it makes her looks good.

As an example, she oogled the press when The Canales Jury found the two defendants guilty of felony murder. Holmes would never have shoved his prosecutors to the back of the bus. Of course, Holmes would have tried the case himself! Too bad Lykos has NEVER tried a criminal case...What a contrast.

Anonymous said...

Civil court rooms have huge drop down screens, a screen for each juror in the jury box below the rail, and screens at the witness table, bench, and each counsel table.

Suck it!

Anonymous said...

But, you are still in civil court, where it sucks.

Anonymous said...

Civil has drop down screens to show low-def video driven by a dim lightbulb, as opposed to huge vivid HDTVs coming to the CJC.

Anonymous said...

It was actualy Chuck's idea to pay for new media equipment in the courtroom's. He left before it became official and Magidson followed through and actually transferred the $

Anonymous said...

But, you are still in civil court, where it pays a whole lot more.

Fixed that for you.

Also, the rules of evidence and procedure actually have meaning in a civil court room. But I know playing by the rules would be too hard for an ADA, so I understand your issues with it.

Anonymous said...

Chuck did a lot behind the scenes. He has shortcomings like many of us. The temptations of the flesh are strong.

Anonymous said...

How could Lykos allow for this frivolous expenditure of money when employees are being let go and nobody gets their due raises.

Just Sayin' said...

Anon 7:47,
It's funny how the defense bar is perceived. In the criminal courthouse they're the good guys but cross the street and they're almost as bad as the ADAs.
Money talks and bullshit walks so follow the legal fees if you're looking for PC justice and equity.
That's why the comparatively high paid criminal defense attorneys and plaintiff attorneys assume the role of "virtue" at the courthouse.
As for civil rules of procedure and evidence being premised on ethics in Harris County, the plaintiff bar "runners" or the civil defense lawyers who crank out 100+ billable hours/day in class action suits or the incestuous probate and divorce attorneys, etc. etc. etc. all make even the most "corrupt" ADA look like Mother Theressa.....the troll and her lieutenants excepted of course.
Just Sayin'

Will Freeman said...

"Also, the rules of evidence and procedure actually have meaning in a civil court room."

Holy shit. If you typed that with a straight face, then you must be the best liar in the entire world.

Anonymous said...

"That's why the comparatively high paid criminal defense attorneys"

We are? Since when?

Anonymous said...

We were told Mr Magidson did want wooden floors

Anonymous said...

What a fucking waste. They should have one 80 inch tv the jury can easily see that can be wheeled around, instead of 3 40 inch screens everyone will have to strain to see in some sports bar configuration. This looks like the county I work for.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:27,
not all bottom feeders thrive so you'll just have to settle for mediocrity. but hey your victim mentality will at least give you empathy for your clients.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59, I certainly don't remember Magidson ever spending any asset or county money on foolish, self indulgent items. Lots of differences between wanting hardwood floors and wasting money on them. All of my dealing with Magidson showed he was a professional prosecutor with the highest ethical standards.

Just Sayin' said...

Anon 11:26,
Chuck would have made almost anyone look ethical but Kenny was no Johnny when it came to the "profesional proscutor" standard.
Kenny's star power is only impressive to those who don't appreciate the political fortune of his being appointed to serve between Chuck Rosenthal and Pat Lykos.
Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

More departures this week, as well as aborted ones. It's interesting how some resignations of lower level prosecutors with certain attributes are met with counter offers, while the recent chief departure was met with stony silence and no recognition of service at all. Fucking pathetic.

Private Investigator in Santa Monica said...

This technology is really sounds good, but not available in every court of the country, very cool technology.