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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69995 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Technical Innovation and the Courts - An Economic Evaluation of Videotape Use
Author(s): M C Gritzke
Corporate Author: Minnesota Crime Control Planning Board
Research and Evaluation Unit
(See Minnesota Criminal Justice Program, Research
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 78
Sponsoring Agency: Minnesota Crime Control Planning Board

National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report evaluates the use of videotapes in one Minnesota county's courtrooms from June 1, 1977 to May 31, 1978.
Abstract: The equipment funded primarily by LEAA, was intended for videotaping expert testimony when the expert was unavilable during the trial or when the defendant agreed to its use. It was also intended for videotaping crime scenes. Videotaping project goals were to reduce continuances, dismissals, plea reductions, trips to crime scenes, and trial scheduling delays due to unavilability of expert witnesses. The present evaluation compared 61 felony cases from the preproject period with 61 felony cases from the project period to gauge goal attainment. Data were collected from case files, financial records, and a survey of the State's audiovisual equipment rental businesses. Six variables examined included delay, sentence or disposition, case type, expert report type, defendant's prior record, and crime severity. Results indicated that the stated need to reduce trial related continuances, dismissals, and pleas to lesser charges did not exist during the preproject period. In addition, the equipment had no significant impact on court delays. The equipment was useful, however, for noncourtroom purposes, including police training, jury instructions, and testimony presentation at noncriminal hearings. Project cost per hour was $78.74, compared with a rental cost of $350.50. Analysis of other Minnesota counties indicated that more than three-fourths lacked sufficient cases to justify equipment purchase for expert witness testimony. Six future options for videotaping expert information in the State range from acquiring equipment for all counties and shared use among counties. Advantages and disadvantages of each option, figures, tables, and footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Equipment evaluation; Evaluation; Minnesota; Program evaluation; Video taped testimony; Videotapes
Note: Evaluation report
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