Crime Lab Techs to Testify Via Video in 2007

JANUARY 2, 2007 - Posted at 7:25 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A new system will allow technicians at the Arkansas Crime Laboratory to give testimony via video link at the state's largest circuit courts this year.

The new fiber optic links will save vast amounts of time for the evidence examiners, who face backlogs but still have to log extensive travel time in trials across the state.

Counties in the program are Benton, Garland, Jefferson, Pulaski, Sebastian and Washington.

Crime lab director J.R. Howard says technicians will be able to walk to a downstairs room and testify.  Howard says the drive in Pulaski County was only a few minutes, but his workers would wait hours to be called to the stand.  This way, they can keep working until its time to testify.

The fiber optic system also allows video depositions to be taken and will allow attorneys to have face-to-face conferences about cases with the crime lab examiners without anyone having to travel.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)