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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221171 Find in a Library
Title: Graphic Impact: How To Illustrate Forensic Science in the Modern Courtroom
Journal: Evidence Technology Magazine  Volume:5  Issue:6  Dated:November/December 2007  Pages:30-34
Author(s): Steve Ryan; Rod Westbrook
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the benefits, technology, and uses of computer software to create and present visual portrayals of evidence and crime scenes to judges and juries in the course of courtroom testimony and prosecutorial summations.
Abstract: Computer-generated visual presentations on a large screen can be useful in portraying complex forensic information to laypersons in a visually oriented society. The creation of a graphic presentation is relatively easy and cheap. The computer software used in creating graphic presentations either comes with most computers or can be downloaded free from the Internet. These programs include Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or Impress. This article contains a section on how to construct a slideshow with Microsoft PowerPoint. A section on the courtroom procedure for showing the slide presentation indicates that photographs of scenes and items are submitted to the court as evidence in traditional fashion, often as a group of exhibits for the investigator to review and affirm that they are fair and accurate depictions of the scene and/or items. After being admitted into evidence, following any defense queries, the prosecutor can ask if a slideshow was prepared using the photographs. With an affirmative response, the slideshow is then turned on and run for courtroom viewing, with the investigator acting as the narrator. Prior to taking the slideshow before the court, the courtroom layout should be studied and the setup rehearsed in order to ensure that courtroom personnel will have a clear view of the presentation. Presenting a computer-driven slideshow will require a projector; a large, freestanding screen; and a laptop computer loaded with the presentation software.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Audiovisual aids; Computer aided operations; Computer software; Evidence; Expert witnesses; Forensic sciences; Scientific testimony; Trial procedures; Visual communications
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