Courtrooms adapting to the YouTube world?

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Chicago (IL) – The Supreme Court is moving into an era where video is becoming a staple everywhere, including in the courtroom. The first issue of this arose when a YouTube video link was put before the court via a citation in a petition filed with the courts last month, as reported by The New York Times. The difference in this is that it is not a legal precedent or an affidavit. The video shows what could either be police brutality, or potentially a correct response to an arrested man’s actions.

Evidence such as this has a potential to disrupt courtroom cases, according to a study in the Harvard Law Review. When a court justice is able to view the very happenings involved in a case for themselves, rather than relying on oral arguments, then they could potentially ignore actual findings by jurors and judges in lower courts by coming to their own conclusions.

Video can create a major issue in the decision making process of judges, as a video is not irrefutable or categorical proof like DNA. Instead, it is actually a volatile and potentially persuasive view of the events as they occurred which could hold personal connotations to the justice, those that the court system is supposed to be blind to.

A video makes an event real, thrusting it right into the face of a judge, causing them to instantaneously form an opinion based on their personal selves as videos evoke opinion and feelings, those which may or may not belong in the courtroom.

I’m curious what TG Daily readers believe. Do you feel YouTube videos should be admissible in court in cases? And do you feel these videos could sway the opinion of a judge?

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