Grand jury hearings via video conference save time and money

Friday, June 3 2011

The United States legal system is formed on the basis of due process. As a result, rigorous testimony before a suspect can even go to trial is necessary to ensure a lawful conviction. This means that investigating and arresting officers must testify before a grand jury, and in their capacity as public employees, must be paid for their time and services.

The use of video conferencing is on the rise for this purpose. According to, police and justice departments are taking advantage of web conference technology to make the court system a little faster and the burden on taxpayers a little bit smaller.

Courts in Parma, Independence and Seven Hills, Ohio, have installed video conferencing suites in police departments and courtrooms so that officers who are necessary at criminal proceedings, especially grand jury hearings, can simply sit in front of a webcam and give their testimony. According to Parma Detective Tom Connor, "With the video grand jury, you now have a detective who is able to be at the department to work on a case as opposed to driving back and forth - and maybe two or three times a day."