Like many courts, Jefferson County, Kentucky thought it would save itself some money in the long-term by investing in an electronic recording system for trials and motion hearings. (Who needs those pesky court reporters with their funky typewriters? You can do the same thing with a tape recorder and a microphone! And the equipment doesn’t need health insurance!)
Well, apparently, the Jefferson County courts do: [Louisville Courier-Journal]
Nearly three months after defense attorneys and prosecutors held a suppression hearing in the Cecil New murder case, they had to do the whole thing all over again recently — calling in the same detective, asking her the same questions and spending more than an hour re-creating the record.
Jefferson Circuit Court’s digital audio recording equipment failed to properly record the first hearing in Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman’s courtroom, capturing video, but no sound.
In fact, the Jefferson Audio Video System, or JAVS, has failed to record audio in several courtrooms, meaning dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of hearings have been silently recorded, with no way for attorneys, defendants or victims to review exactly what was said.
The lack of a record is being used as grounds for appeals of at least one conviction, and one judge had to declare a mistrial of a 2008 case.
As a result of the problems, McDonald-Burkman has started using a court reporter — a recording system last used on a regular basis in Jefferson County in the 1980s.
Sounds like a good idea, no? The lawyers are getting paid. The judge is getting paid. The bailiffs are getting paid. Even the jurors are getting sort of paid (kind of). Why not let a court reporter make an honest living too? Heck, even if she fell asleep, you might lose five minutes of testimony, not the whole trial.
Social Media nabs another: D-level celebs seem love the series of tubes known as the interwebs, particularly Twitter and Facebook, for enhancing their ability to shamelessly admire how great it is to be famous for the hell of it. Need evidence? See @itsthesituation, @spencerpratt, and @kimkardashian (sample tweet: “I do love my metallic bikinis!” OMG, Kim! I do too!)
But sometimes, one can share too much. Recently Facebook has allowed members to post their locations, despite some sources showing how bad of an idea it is to let the world know you are not home. Paris Hilton’s oversharing has created a problem, but it has nothing to do with “checking in” at Five Guys Burgers & Fries.
No, Paris, it seems, was nabbed recently with .8 grams of cocaine in a Chanel purse. Despite the purse also containing Paris’s money and credit cards, she used the ubiquitous “it’s not mine” defense, disavowing ownership of the coke and the purse. The problem? Just three weeks earlier, she posted a photo of the purse on Twitter, with he description “Love my new Chanel purse I got today!”
[HT: Slaw.ca via Legal Blog Watch]
This video is a metaphor for the plight of Paris and Jefferson County:
Great Moments In Alibi History: These guys came up with the best alibi ever before recanting. [The News-Herald].
COPS: What are you doing in this vacant house?
PERPS: We’re gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
COPS: OK, we believe you. But you’re under arrest for breaking and entering.
PERPS: But we’re not stealing anything.
COPS: Doesn’t matter.
PERPS: Really? Then we were just kidding. We’re stealing copper.
PERPS: No, seriously. We’re thieves. We’ll plea, no matter how much harsher the penalty.
Elsewhere: The next mass tort? Porn. [Information Week via ABA Journal]