Technology Sheds Light on Evidence in O.J. Simpson Murder Trial

Although the prosecution and defense teams in the O.J. Simpson murder trial frequently clashed in the courtroom, they fully agreed on at least one point: that computers, video equipment and other high-tech tools could help them present key evidence to the jury.

Before opening arguments, Trial Presentation Technologies, a Los Angeles based firm, equipped Judge Lance Ito's courtroom with nearly $150,000 in computers, monitors, document-imaging hardware and graphics software from companies such as Sony, IBM and Dell.

Attorneys also exploited computer presentation technology outside of the courtroom. Howard Harris, a computer consultant and paralegal with Bailey, Fishman, Freeman and Ferrin, used an LCD projector to demonstrate advantages of computer images over foam core boards, and laser light pens over wooden pointing devices.

An End to Bulky Exhibits

"Attorneys who are used to handling physically bulky exhibits have to become comfortable with the projection of information instead," Harris says.

Another advantage of the technology is that evidence can be accessed at a moment's notice -- whether at a "sidebar" or during examination of a witness.

The LCD projector -- an nVIEW Luminator -- particularly helped in defense team strategy meetings, which often included up to 20 people at a time. Evidence was scanned and stored on a computer hard disk, then projected onto a matte screen as large as 15 ft. diagonally, without the glare that may appear on monitors.

"We went through trial runs, possible scenarios that may or may not be played out in the courtroom," says Harris. Some attorneys fear using unfamiliar equipment, but these training sessions reduced the learning curve so they could concentrate on the proceedings.

The nVIEW Luminator is an example of recent plug-and-play presentation technology gaining rapid acceptance in courtrooms -- and classrooms -- everywhere.

For more information on nVIEW's LCD projection products, call: (800) 736-8439 University of Arizona College of Law's "Courtroom of the Future"

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/1996 issue of THE Journal.