28 Law & Pol'y 211 (2006)
Videoconferencing in Criminal Proceedings: Legal and Empirical Issues and Directions for Research

handle is hein.journals/lawpol28 and id is 215 raw text is: Videoconferencing in Criminal Proceedings:
Legal and Empirical Issues and Directions for
Research
MOLLY TREADWAY JOHNSON and ELIZABETH C. WIGGINS
State and federal courts are increasingly using videoconferencing to hold pro-
ceedings in criminal cases, including first appearances and arraignments. How-
ever, little systematic information is available about the extent of its use, the
proceedings for which it is used, how it is implemented, and, most importantly,
whether videoconferencing affects the behavior or perceptions of participants in a
way that violates a defendant's fundamental rights. In this article we review the
legal and empirical issues raised by the use of videoconferencing in criminal
cases and describe empirical research that could and, we argue, should, inform
policy decisions concerning its use.
I. INTRODUCTION
As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, many federal and state
courts have begun using two-way videoconferencing to handle various types
of proceedings. When videoconferencing is used, generally some of the
participants (including the judge) are in the courtroom, while others
(including a defendant or a witness) are at a remote location. Participants
in each of the locations are able to view the others on a television monitor
and both audio and visual signals are transmitted through high-speed tele-
phone lines (Federal Judicial Center 2001).
Proponents of videoconferencing point to time and cost savings for the
courts as well as other participants, such as attorneys or witnesses who
would otherwise have to travel a long distance to participate in the hearing.
In addition, they note that technology has improved to the point where
We would like to thank Steve Breckler, Spencer Kelly, and three anonymous reviewers for
helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. The views expressed in this paper are
those of the authors and not necessarily of the Federal Judicial Center.
Address correspondence to Molly Treadway Johnson, The Federal Judicial Center, 1 Columbus
Circle, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 USA. Telephone: (202) 502-4070; e-mail: mjohnson@fjc.gov.
LAW & POLICY, Vol. 28, No. 2, April 2006                         ISSN 0265-8240
 2006 Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy
No claim to original US government works

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