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Live Justice Comes To the Internet

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-just-another-court-show dept.

The Courts 85

Hugh Pickens writes "The Boston Globe reports that an experiment in live justice is coming to the Internet, uniting citizen bloggers with the public's right to know in one of Massachusetts's busiest courthouses, Quincy District Court. Dubbed Open Court, the project will operate live cameras and microphones during criminal sessions where the court's proceedings will be streamed live over the Internet at the Open Court website to give the public an unfiltered view of court proceedings while an operating Wi-Fi network serves citizen bloggers who want to post to the Internet. 'The idea is that people can live blog, but they can also tweet,' says John Davidow, executive editor in charge of new media at WBUR, who developed the idea for the project, adding that during the next year, the goal is to move the experiment outside the first session courtroom and to stream criminal and civil trials and small claims cases as well. The project was seeking a busy court and found it in Quincy, where last year the court handled more than 7,000 criminal claims and more than 15,000 civil cases, including more than 1,100 restraining orders, nearly 1,000 substance abuse and mental health cases and more than 1,200 landlord-tenant cases."

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Phone in vote (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135658)

Lines close at 11, this week on America's Got Time.

Re:Phone in vote (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36150228)

i was thinking the same thing. Populism : dear people of america and the world outside, shall we hang him , flay him, crucify him or feed him to the lions ? this does not sound like a real good idea, i mean, anyone interested can go sit in the courtroom to follow the trial, right ?

i'm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135666)

first.

Do We Really Want This? (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135684)

This is nice for the press, the bloggers and the curious, but do we really want all court proceedings 'broadcast' in this manner? Are we looking at a future where "live court reporting" takes place complete with ads and commentators? The quality will be even worse than the NFL channel's piss-poor play-by-play coverage of games.

This will make iding informants a lot easier. (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135700)

It's only a matter of time before a website like whosarat.com moves in and takes advantage of this live court reporting idea.
Inquiring minds want to know who the snitches are.

Re:This will make iding informants a lot easier. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135712)

if you watch The Lincoln Lawyer, knowing who a snitch is, is as important to the defense as the prosecution.

Re:This will make iding informants a lot easier. (0)

painehope (580569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137150)

That would be one of the first steps towards actual justice that could be handled on the net. The first one that sprung to mind for me was live feeds of the holding tanks at your local county jail, or the interrogation rooms. Of course, the cops will still keep a room where there's no cameras and no witnesses except them, just like the many that I've had chickenshits with badges beat on me while I'm in full restraints. It's amazing how pissed off they get when you beg for mercy, catch your breath, and then start laughing and calling them sons of cocksucking whores. It generally takes only a few hours of that before they get tired of it and just throw you back in a cell and there goes their case...

Re:This will make iding informants a lot easier. (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137152)

Because appearing in court and having court documents a matter of public record is not enough?

Re:This will make iding informants a lot easier. (1)

cozzbp (1845636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36140856)

Funny, I was thinking it would only be a matter of time before I could place bets on the outcomes of court proceedings.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135702)

How many politicians and CEO's will be put on trial?... None you say?! I thought so... Ok, carry on...

Re:Do We Really Want This? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135986)

How many politicians and CEO's will be put on trial?... None you say?! I thought so... Ok, carry on...

i dont know but like any and every other american court room there will be lots of niggers put on trial. they're violent primitive tribals who are not yet ready for civilized society, that is why they commit such a disproportionately high number of crimes especially violent crimes.

oh yah and they can scream their favorite word RACISM all they like. it's a convenient scapegoat isn't it, like all of their problems are somebody else's fault huh? gee how come nothing ever improves? racism my ass. the FACT is that black-on-black crime is far higher than white-on-black crime has ever been. look it up yourself and see if that's still compatible with political correctness.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135748)

"Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done." -- R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy [1924]

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135758)

This is nice for the press, the bloggers and the curious, but do we really want all court proceedings 'broadcast' in this manner? Are we looking at a future where "live court reporting" takes place complete with ads and commentators? The quality will be even worse than the NFL channel's piss-poor play-by-play coverage of games.

You'd prefer the alternative - that all trials be conducted in secret?

One of the cornerstones of Western jurisprudence is that the court proceedings - and the courts themselves - are public. Anyone can walk off the street, and as long as there's sufficient physical space in the courtroom, observe the proceedings.

All that's happened here is that the State has decided to use technology to remove the artificial limit imposed by the physical size of the courtroom. Unlike lots of things where the State has used technology to remove artificial limits ("Well, if it's legal for a cop to follow someone around everywhere. Why can't a cop attach a GPS unit to your car and let it do the following-around bit? And if it's legal - albeit prohibitively expensive - for a police department to hire one officer per intersection, why not use traffic cameras with OCR and license plate recognition instead of hiring a million cops?") expanding public access to court proceedings is a good thing for citizens.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (3, Interesting)

Nedmud (157169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135970)

That is not the alternative -- it's the opposite extreme.

Allowing a media free-for-all increases the risk of Jurors getting outside information on the case.

Justice needs oversight; but also also needs to be protected from interference. Optimising justice means finding a tradeoff between these ideals.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (2)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135962)

Oh No! Jake has fumbled his chance of getting a reduced sentence after releasing a stream of racist obscenities at the judge and general population. No good Jake

Well Chip, looks to me like someone didn't get their Florida's Natural orange juice this morning

Re:Do We Really Want This? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135966)

No, we don't. That it comes from Massachusetts, home of Romneycare, and was the brain-child of some NPR guy, home of "Republicans are racist" fundraisers, should be enough to prove that.

But even if you don't care about that, the answer is still: No, we don't. Court rooms should be open to interested members of the public. It should be open to the press.

It should not be open to any idiot on the Internet, especially when a trial can badly damage people's reputations even if they are eventually found guilty. (Remember, as far as the public is concerned, it's guilty until magic CSI science proves otherwise. The police never make mistakes in public fairy-land.)

And, hell, just imagine the potential for witness and jury intimidation. Can you imagine being a witness testifying against a rapist? Can you imagine being on a jury, knowing that your "guilty" vote is being broadcast out to every gang member?

There's a difference between "public" and "broadcast to every corner of the globe." Court proceedings should be public so that interested observers can ensure they're fair. They shouldn't be broadcast to the Internet. That's a recipe for disaster.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36141972)

And, hell, just imagine the potential for witness and jury intimidation. Can you imagine being a witness testifying against a rapist? Can you imagine being on a jury, knowing that your "guilty" vote is being broadcast out to every gang member?

There's a difference between "public" and "broadcast to every corner of the globe." Court proceedings should be public so that interested observers can ensure they're fair. They shouldn't be broadcast to the Internet. That's a recipe for disaster.

Currently, the gang members sit in the back of the courtroom, since, y'know, they're interested observers. How is this any different, except that they can now stay home?

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

phiwum (319633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36142302)

No, we don't. That it comes from Massachusetts, home of Romneycare, and was the brain-child of some NPR guy, home of "Republicans are racist" fundraisers, should be enough to prove that.

What a remarkably stupid opening.

Whether this is a good thing or not is certainly worth debate (and you provide some actual argument later in your post), but these silly examples of the genetic fallacy come off as nothing more than bigoted ignorance.

Do We Really Want This?-"Bad boys, bad boys..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135976)

"Cops" comes to a court room nearest you.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (2)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136010)

this isn't new. back in the 90's there was a show called CourtTV.. (I think it's still around, but they've changed programming).. anyway. that's all it was: live trial broadcasts. BORING AS HELL.. even if you had an interest in the case... it's like baseball.. 15 minutes of action spread out over a day.. if the judge called a 10 minute recess, you sat there for 10 minutes watching whoever was in the courtroom waste 10 minutes.. there really wasn't any commentary either, except before the court came to order, the end of the day and lunch (or whatever breaks were given).

doubt there will be too many ads.. since nobody will fucking watch it.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (2)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136810)

Maybe. But then, I enjoy watching C-SPAN. I like the idea of being able to watch what our judges, LEOs, and congress critters are up to.

What I do not like is that a channel (I cannot remember if it was C-SPAN, may have been a different local channel), was recently caught switching views during voting sessions. I think it was the Texas legislature? Anyhow, during the times that the cameras were switched, they would vote, both for themselves and several of their neighbors who were not there. It bothers me that it violated their own state law, it bothers me that for a vote (even a relatively unimportant one), many of those representatives were absent, and it bothers me that the channel was complicit in looking away while these congress critters were engaging in this below-board activity.

It's not "entertainment" like most channels, but like NASA TV (which can be ~boring as all hell), that does not mean it should not be aired. It's a communication medium. If a judge is in bed with law-enforcement or the DA, I'd love to have video evidence of him acting as such. It would be wonderful at his trial.

What I would not like is another propaganda activity, where Justice-TM is shown, but only if the "good guys" are winning. Cutting to a commercial break instead of showing part of the defense would be a source of irritation.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137156)

Ever heard of a channel changer? DVR? Fast forward? Slashdot, where the infinity of noise rapidly approaches the limit of signal.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (3, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136068)

no, i dont want to see how people with mental problems or people who are found to have smoked some weed but not sentenced are stigmatized. It wont be long until somebody makes a database and offers a service for possible employers to check against.

Searching for the image or the voice of a person is not science fiction any more.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (3, Informative)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137166)

I *hope* you are aware that all court records are already databased and searchable by potential employers, regardless of this, and are being sarcastic. Because if not... SlashDot's intelligence level is dropping even faster than I thought.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137776)

i am not sure about the legal situation in all states, but AFAIU courts can rule that not all information which was discussed during the case, including testimonies is available, and for certain cases that seems to be the standard.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (4, Informative)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137842)

Yeah, sure. And records can be sealed or expunged later. In reality, once it gets into a private company's database in the US, even if the defendant wins, even if there is a prohibition, certainly if the record is later expunged, it's in the database. The private companies often pick up the court filings daily or weekly, and pay local courts for the privilege-- with no privacy laws to prevent it, the only recourse is to sue, and a poor bloke with little or no education, in fact anyone but the very privileged, are simply "screwed."

The NYT carried an article today about how the credit bureaus keep "VIP" lists of judges and politicians, correcting errors in their credit reports immediately-- while average citizens often spends years trying to correct mistakes, while they are denied credit, loans, leases (for rental property etc.) and even jobs as a result. It's unbelievable and unconscionable, but what the United States has become. I'm glad to have the opportunity to exit whenever I wish.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136230)

The justice system is a pain for the victim, most of the time if they get through the hassle once in life it's enough. But getting through all that frustration and humiliation is plenty without making it a media circus ...

Re:Do We Really Want This? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136898)

Don't worry. Few will watch it. Sure, it might sound like Cops, but it's actually more like CSPAN.

Re:Do We Really Want This? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136938)

but do we really want all court proceedings 'broadcast' in this manner?

Of course "we" do. "We" want our justice system to look like the rest of our television. We can be told it's "reality" TV, but like all "reality" TV, there is nothing "real" about it. But if it looks "real-ish" then that's good enough for us. We'll see a satisfying parade of poor black and hispanic faces on their way to our prison system.

Oh, you didn't think you'd see anyone from Goldman Sachs in court on TV, did you? In America, if you make $100 selling (non-prescription) drugs you are public enemy number one and you and your Li'l Wayne-looking self are going to be the "Face of Crime in America" and people will go to sleep trembling with fear that someone who looks like you is going to show up in their world, but if you destroy a $14 trillion economy, stealing hundreds of billions of dollars, putting millions out of work, causing hundreds of thousands to lose their homes and livelihood, their retirement nest-eggs, nobody ever knows your name (but those people whose lives you ruined will all have to pitch in and make sure you never lose a dime).

Fucking "justice on TV". It won't be "justice" they put on TV. First, they'd have to find something resembling "justice" in the United States. No, it'll be circuses for the yokels. Something to watch when NASCAR ain't on. A 21st century minstrel show for teabaggers.

Hooray! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135694)

Public trials in the town square, really missed that!

Re:Hooray! (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135872)

Generally speaking, trials have always been open to the public.

Re:Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135906)

And if someone has been lying drunk on the sidewalk then technically they have always been visible to the public, but the government screening it on the internet using surveillance cameras would still be an interesting development.

Re:Hooray! (1, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136148)

I don't know where you live in the uncivilized parts of the world, but the average citizen could always enter a court and watch a trial. Both in Canada and the US. This to me seems simply like an extension of that. The only difference is, the chances of having a chat with the judge before they go on break seems pretty slim with this. But who knows, maybe they'll add a Q&A session at the end of the day.

Where I live(canada), justices and jp's regularly take questions from the gallery on the current state of law and decisions.

I call dibs (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135716)

... on the remote-controlled rifles!

Re:I call dibs (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135730)

Those already exist, some outfits even offer hunting via web cam. Which is about as repulsive as you can imagine.

Re:I call dibs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135822)

I agree. Did you notice that spot on your wall opposite the window? I've been waiting for you to notice it all day.
This is a delicious slurpee.

I read this as Jive Justice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135718)

...needless to say I'm now disappointed.

New source of income? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135734)

Pay-per-view executions. People are naturally drawn to that type of thing: gladiatorial combat, public hangings and beheadings, etc. Also, consider this: right now, executions are carried out behind closed doors. Most people don't see them, many don't even hear about them. Perhaps if executions become more public, they may actually have something of a deterrent effect. Being able to see them on TV would make them see more real, make execution seem like an actual, possible outcome rather than the abstract unlikelihood that it is now.

Re:New source of income? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135816)

I have a great idea! Let's try to duplicate everything that the Roman empire did!

Re:New source of income? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136120)

When their enemies were at the gates, the Romans would suspend democracy and appoint one man to protect the city.

I would like to nominate yours truly for the position.

Re:New source of income? (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136838)

And I would support your appointment to that position, if only because I would be on the other side of that gate. ^_^

gladiatorial combat? should people be able to win (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135830)

gladiatorial combat? should people be able to win there way out? or just win life without parole?

Re:gladiatorial combat? should people be able to w (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135840)

I was just giving historical examples of people being drawn to and in fact paying to see public death. I wasn't implying we need to use it ourselves.

why not move the all the china stuff to prisons (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135876)

why not move the all the made in china stuff to prisons in the USA.

Re:why not move the all the china stuff to prisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135894)

You mean relabelling it all to "made in the USA?" - too late, your idea has been in widespread use for some time.

Re:why not move the all the china stuff to prisons (1)

DigitaLunatiC (452925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135926)

What would they do with all those iPads?

Re:why not move the all the china stuff to prisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36137194)

great idea! at a time when people in america can't find jobs, let's make them compete with slave labor!

As a bonus, we give our corrupt prison system even more incentive to keep people locked up.

Re:gladiatorial combat? should people be able to w (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36135888)

But its not that far fetched. One has to ask what sort of confidence this will bring to the court of law. While he/she may be found innocent, trial by public may just ruin a life worth living.

Re:gladiatorial combat? should people be able to w (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136844)

Almost to Deadman Wonderland here.

Re:New source of income? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137172)

Well, it's one way to solve the US budgetary "crisis." How about $1 million for a seat in the room? $50 million to pull the switch! American capitalist enterprise at work!!!

Re:New source of income? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137550)

Pay-per-view executions.

Too boring. Who wants to pay to see a guy getting stuck with an IV, and then falling asleep? Just go volunteer at the local hospital!

No, what we need is a viewer-vote program:

"Welcome to the execution hot-line! This Fridays execution features 5-time killer and rapist Joe Bob from Somewhweres, Kentucky. If you would like to see Joe boiled alive in Crisco Brand cooking oil, press 1 now! If you would like to see him garroted with Sea Striker brand fishing line, press 2! To see a firing squad sporting this years line of assault rifles from Colt Firearms, press 3 now! For this weeks recommended pick featuring Lions from the San Diego Zoo, press 4."

The product placement fees alone would net you a nice bundle, and if you charge $5 per call you'd be raking in the dough like crazy!

Re:New source of income? (1)

doccus (2020662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36141908)

Product placement fees? From, say, companies like Crisco?

DSK ? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135918)

Am I the only French guy who thought this was about DSK ? The guy has been arrested 24h ago and already thousands of people follow what is happening through twitter and various live blogs.

Re:DSK ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36137702)

At the very least you are the only one between the two of us who knows what the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard has to do with any of this.

Drinking game (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135924)

I wonder if there could be a drinking game made out of this.

Just thinking how such a move will be used in was that aren't expected.

One word. (-1, Redundant)

MaxBooger (1877454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135928)

Boring.

The problem with openness (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135930)

One issue I see with this is that the average person is going to tune into a section of a criminal trial, hear the prosecution's side of things and tune out, having made up their mind that So-and-so is a criminal. Then they'll start talking about it among their friends, some of whom might blog or tweet about it, and before you know it the person is presumed guilty in the public eye. All that before the defense can cross-examine the first witness. When you're limited to being there in person, there's a barrier to entry that tends to weed out the casual gossiper whose only interest is the soap opera nature of a trial.

Much like how the internet used to be a place where civilized academics and corporate citizens would be able to communicate together, share ideas, and so on. Anyone who wanted to get on the internet had a natural barrier they had to go through -- attend a university, get a job at a connected company, etc. Then the floodgates opened and any yahoo could get online. Now the "lol, fag" level of communication is expected rather than something that trolls did 20 years ago only for the shock value.

Besides which, this isn't really an open court in that it's a one-way communication tool. A true open court should be two-way. Let's have a jury of a few million people who can Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down to decide the innocence or guilt of an accused.

Re:The problem with openness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136070)

Much like how the internet used to be a place where civilized academics and corporate citizens would be able to communicate together, share ideas, and so on

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa AHAHAAAaahaa hoo hoho

Damn you almost had me there. The internet was never every that. Look no further than the alt groups in usenet. You will see the BS has been flowing a long time. Before that was the local watering hole/barbershop/hairdresser. The internet just made it faster and more 'anonymous' is all.

Your point is still valid. Exactly what you said will happen will. But do not make the internet of yore to be something special. It wasnt all that. Trust me I was front line to watching that crap go down. It was most amusing to watch.

Re:The problem with openness (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136796)

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa AHAHAAAaahaa hoo hoho

Damn you almost had me there. The internet was never every that. Look no further than the alt groups in usenet. You will see the BS has been flowing a long time.

Indeed. This is where we got things like YHBT. HAND.

Re:The problem with openness (4, Interesting)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136378)

One issue I see with this is that the average person is going to tune into a section of a criminal trial, hear the prosecution's side of things and tune out, having made up their mind that So-and-so is a criminal. Then they'll start talking about it among their friends, some of whom might blog or tweet about it, and before you know it the person is presumed guilty in the public eye. All that before the defense can cross-examine the first witness. When you're limited to being there in person, there's a barrier to entry that tends to weed out the casual gossiper whose only interest is the soap opera nature of a trial.

This is why in Sweden it is illegal to publish the name/identity of the accused until they are convicted. A similar law may be necessary in other countries as such tech becomes more common - a lot of existing laws that balance rights involving privacy assume a certain level of difficulty in accessing the information (e.g. going to the courthouse) that may no longer be the case.

Re:The problem with openness (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137196)

But the opposite of this is, if there's no publicity, no one sees the abuses (which may be and likely are much more common in the US). At this point, defendants in the US, especially those without counsel, (other than the joke of appointed counsel), are subject to abuse of rights in what is essentially invisibilty-- many courtrooms do not allow any reporting other than what can be carries out on a notepad. In a completely adversarial system, one which has no formal or procedural obligation to pursue truth-- if your lawyer doesn't defend you, too bad, it's not the judge's concern-- this is not only ripe for abuse. Abuse is rampant. A project such as this has the potential to turn that around, and make the reality of the United States "Justice" system evident and recorded for all.

Re:The problem with openness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36137836)

True, but I think this will only serve the depraved rather that those who have an honest interest in making the justice system absolutely transparent. Since we're already talking about flood gates, how about this as an example: a court broadcast of a sexual molestation trial involving an 18 year old who was a child at the time of the crime. Without any further info, reactionaries on both sides will rush to judge either of the parties. Bring in an aggressive lawyer turned television personality like Star Jones, Nancy Grace, or Jane Velez-Mitchell, and you've dramatic court television with all sorts of "analysis" by special guests with expert opinions. And then when the camera zooms in on the alleged victim crying during her testimony as she explains how the bad man touched her, I can vid cap the moment and make a truly awesome animated GIF that I can post to /b/, Tumblr, or Facebook. Oh the lulz. THE LULZ. I will especially love it when she starts sobbing uncontrollably. And surely someone will take my comic genius to its next step and make an awesome motivation poster image or develop a Facebook fan page for her.

My only point here is that most Americans know fuckall about law and even less about courtroom proceedings. Absent that knowledge, and adding in the common reactionary holier-than-thou rush to judgment the people who watch these programs are likely to have, and further factoring for the need to monetize such a program and create buzz for it; the result would likely be something far less noble than C-SPAN or NASA TV, but something more base like Fox Reality Channel.

I agree that some cases need more publicity than they receive, but the flipside to that is that we really don't need to have eyes on every case, and surely it wouldn't be every case that makes it to broadcast, but only the most "interesting"

Re:The problem with openness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138688)

Did you read the GP's comment? Maybe you just didn't understand it.

He essentially said "this development is inevitable, so we should take measures to avoid the averse effects it would have if allowed to go forward without legal/social changes". He did NOT say "we should try and stop this development". He merely said we should adapt to it.

Re:The problem with openness (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138578)

In the UK we have a law preventing the release of the name of the accused if under 18, as well as "contempt of court" where someone publishes information that would make a fair trial impossible. Unfortunately the internet makes a mockery of them because people can post anonymously or from other countries.

The Swedish way seems like a good idea because currently the UK media will publish the name of anyone arrested for a crime, and that alone could preclude a fair trial. For example the jury is not told of previous convictions in most cases but once the name is out typing it into Google will bring up old news stories revealing them. Even if the media avoids re-printing them (which would be contempt of court) you can't remove information from the internet entirely, e.g. snippets of text in search engine results, blogs mentioning them or foreign media.

Re:The problem with openness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136514)

lol, fag

drinking games go international and such (2)

turkeydance (1266624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36135990)

In This Corner: wearing the green tie.... Abdul the Accused! and the returning Champion: YOUR Mighty Morphin Power Prosecutor...Sam Waterston! realistically, this could apply to the National Spelling Bee or Competition Eating. there are over 1000 cable channels and even more on sat. they need programming! cross-examination drinking games? China trials? twitter is already there..... GrandMa and GrandPa need video and a grandchild to set it up.

doubts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136026)

The idea is that people can live blog, but they can also tweet

Liveblog and tweet?! Oh the progress! Sometimes I wish that arpanet have never caught on with the wider world. Crap like this just dilutes the intellectual capital of this civilization.

Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136170)

The opencourt.us site has a missive about the difficulty they had getting the building hooked up. Apparently the city of Boston has invested nothing in their municipal wiring. The building has no fiber, and can't get it due to drilling moratoriums (for wiring conduits, not oil...) and extremely high drilling costs.

The solution, according to opencourt.us? Cop out and demand broadband as a utility and a public right, drawn from the bottomless well of tax revenue, regardless of cost. Don't suggest that the cost of drilling in Boston may be extreme or give any thought about why that is. No, all broadband must be subsumed by the government because that will clearly be so much better.

This reminds me of my distopian space RPG I wrote (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136300)

Earth is destroyed, and everyone wants to cooperate in the space colonies, so it is a hyper democracy. Everyone is a politician and votes for things over the Internet. Also trials are held on the Internet with people voting if someone is guilty or not. If he is guilty, people are free to suggest a punishment on a forum, and the comment with the most votes gets to be the "criminal's" punishment. Let us just say,"Cruel and unusual punishment is basically the rule" Finally back to mob-justice, and with such a large mob too!

Couldn't they already tweet? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136322)

...an operating Wi-Fi network serves citizen bloggers who want to post to the Internet. 'The idea is that people can live blog, but they can also tweet,'

Couldn't they already tweet using any cell phone purchased in the past 10 years or so? I thought the whole point of Twitter was that you can use SMS to send tweets. Why do they need this Wifi network to tweet?

Re:Couldn't they already tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136786)

No need to be a smart ass, it's easy to understand what they meant.

Re:Couldn't they already tweet? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137000)

No need to be a smart ass, it's easy to understand what they meant.

They meant they installed a Wifi network to do, in part, what could already be done?

Re:Couldn't they already tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36141744)

Yes, and now you can do it more easily and with a variety of other services.

Re:Couldn't they already tweet? (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136960)

At least around here, all the courthouses prohibit cell phones.

Re:Couldn't they already tweet? (1)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 3 years ago | (#36141068)

And you *don't* want to disregard the judge's order on this (Contempt of Court).

Re:Couldn't they already tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36141822)

cell phones are illegal in court, arent they? stupid distinction, granted, but look whos passing the laws...

unusual punishment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36136334)

To me, this makes the court proceeding itself a form of punishment. Do we really want to discourage people from seeking proper legal remedies, on account of our insatiable prurient interest in other people's business? This is a very bad idea.

Re:unusual punishment (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36137236)

My thoughts too. I don't see what they're trying to accomplish with this. Maybe the appearance of transparency at the potential detriment to the defendant?

Bah (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36136400)

Let me know when they have Live Nude Justice.

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36137132)

Thought "The Running Man" was an awesome movie!

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36137800)

i see about 10,000 people being shot for snitching but thats just me

By a jury of ones peers, and the collective (1)

neurosine (549673) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138772)

It's an interesting concept that a traditionally closed court proceeding with peers chosen from a local demographic might conceivably one day become a session seen and judged by thousands, possibly tens of thousands of people. It's a logistical nightmare, but maybe one day will be an alternative method of judging court cases. A verdict from the jury, the judge, with input from the collective. I don't know if it could be feasible...I just find it interesting.

Won't work (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139076)

Within 30 minutes, people are going to realize that real court is nothing like Law & Order and will wonder why the process is dragging on so much.

not exactly completely new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139090)

I work as an engineer who designs Court recording equipment and much of this isn't new, Mass. has had the capability to digitally record and stream video for quite a few years now. the real news is that the court is allowing Wifi at all, and internet-connected wifi at that. this is unheard of in almost any court house anywhere in the US. most places don't allow cell phone usage and some will even fine you for having one vibrate.

The rule of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36141526)

One principle of the rule of law is that justice should not only be done, but be seen to be done - hence most court proceedings are open to the public. I've seen everything from petty theft to murder tried - presumably I could attend that court in person, if it wasn't over 5000 km away. Just for contrast, try watching the UK Supreme Court live at http://news.sky.com/skynews/Supreme-Court.

Perse

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