Experts Help CT Prosecutors Design Hi-Tech Cases For Juries


A special Connecticut unit is training prosecutors to create and use hard-hitting multi-media presentations to hone their arguments and win over juries, reports the Greenwich (Ct.) Time. “It will slowly work its way in,” Chief State’s Attorney Christopher Morano said. “It is my hope that eventually this will be the way it is done.” The case presentation unit formed late last year with the help of a company called WIN Interactive. It has been training facilitators in the state’s 13 judicial districts to use Powerpoint as well as sophisticated legal software to present audio and visual evidence to make their arguments. “We’re essentially trying to get lawyers to learn how to communicate more effectively with jurors,” said Brian Carney, president of the Boston-based WIN Interactive. “In their law school training, attorneys are taught to communicate verbally and we try to get them to communicate by being more visual.”

Using a federal grant, each district has obtained the basic tools to assemble presentations. These include laptops outfitted with popular courtroom presentation programs such as Trial Director and Smart Draw, as well as theater-sized projection screens, an LCD projector, and document cameras nicknamed Elmos, which can be used to project objects and documents. Expert computer visual designers will work on advanced presentations for trials for grave crimes such as murder, helping prosecutors decide how to arrange and display their evidence to the best effect. The emerging field of case presentation includes a wide range of technologies such as interactive CD-ROMs and animations that simulate accidents or processes, said Neal Feigenson, a law professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law, who teaches a class called “Visual Persuasion in the Law.”


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