Sunday, October 25, 2009

Transcripts Aren't Enough

Surprisingly, in most U.S. jurisdictions, court proceedings, which can dramatically affect people‟s lives or property, are rarely recorded accurately or in their entirety because only a small percentage of courts regularly create a video record of court proceedings. Of those courts that do, most do not preserve the video record but simply turn it into a transcript.
Keith A. Gorgos, Comment, Lost in Transcription: Why the Video Record Is Actually Verbatim, 57 Buff. L. Rev. 1057, 1058 (2009)(footnotes omitted). The author analyzes ways that transcripts can be inadequate records of trials -- for instance because the text does not include all the non-verbal cues a witness can give or because the court reporter simply did not capture the speech accurage -- and argues that video records be kept and made the official.

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