Lynchburg Attorneys Making a Case for iPads

Lynchburg, VA - The Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney's office just wrapped up a week-long conference where they taught prosecutors across the state how iPads can help in the courtroom.

Pictures of car crashes, autopsy diagrams, even the layout of a crime scene can go from complicated to compelling with the help of technology.

"People remember 20 percent of what they hear. They remember about 60 percent of what they see. But they remember 80 percent of what they see and hear at the same time," Mike Doucette explained.

Take a 3D animation of an apartment for example, it's the actual layout of where a Lynchburg man was murdered.

"You can actually move through the scene," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Patrick O'Brien said, demonstrating the application.

"It's so much more powerful than simply one single image, one single moment in time," he explained.

And in those terrible, complicated crash scenes -- attorneys can use another app to take eyewitnesses step by step through what happened.

"I might ask the responding officers, where were you standing when you heard the defendant make the statement?" Doucette said, marking an 'X' on the crash picture.

Attorneys on the other side of the courtroom are using iPads as well.

William Lawrence with Pafford, Lawrence & Childress LLC uses iTestimony.

"It's where you can store information with regards to all of the witnesses in a particular case," he explained.

But new technology brings new hurdles. Sometimes it doesn't work, some courtrooms don't have wifi, and some computer generated animations can be inaccurate.

But Doucette says at the end of the day, "jurors have to vote unanimously. So if they see it unanimously, if they hear it unanimously, they're far more likely to vote unanimously."