Courtrooms to get upgraded technology

December 1, 2012

Courtrooms at the Justice Center will soon have new technology that will better enable jury members to examine detailed evidence.

The Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved the expenditure of $34,000 to put new projectors in each of the three courtrooms at the Justice Center, and to also put monitors in the jury box of the district courtroom. There will be one monitor for every two jurors, according to Jackie Solomon, the county’s IT director.

Solomon and District Attorney Rob Christian said that evidence projected on a screen on the courtroom wall is sometimes difficult for jurors to see – especially if they have a vision impairment.

Christian addressed the Commissioners Court about the expenditure request, and said the district courtroom currently is utilizing a borrowed projector because the one owned by the county is broken.

Christian said that by the end of the year, there will have been 40 to 50 civil and criminal trials that have taken place – an indicator that the equipment will be used several times a month.

Commissioner Mike Sympson noted that the equipment was not the latest versions on the market when it was purchased at the time the Justice Center was built.

“It already had been the oldest stuff on the shelf,” he said.

Solomon said the new projectors likely will be purchased before Christmas.

The monitors for the jury box, however, will be a bit more complicated and will have to be done between court proceedings.

He said the monitors likely will be in place some time in January.

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