Roll down your window...and tweet...
My children were born in a technological world. They have never known a world without cell phones. Or GPS. Or power windows. Information is everywhere in the world. We've all heard the fact that there is more computing power in our cell phones than in the Apollo rockets and the lunar lander. Every facet in our world is now a function of technology. Every profession and trade is now dependent on technology. The law is no different.
Back in the day, the elected DA would travel his circuit along with the criminal judge. He would present his cases to the grand jury in the morning, type the returned indictments on a portable typewriter and hold court later that afternoon. Dockets were hand written and records were as well. Back then, a "tweet" was what birds did.
Now, indictments are prepared in advance by computer and files are scanned in and managed electronically. Dockets are computerized and placed on the internet. All research is done electronically. Forensic science has revolutionized crime fighting and investigations.
Prosecutors have been slow to embrace technology. Mostly because of the cost of technology and the lack of funding, prosecutors have been very hesitant to spend time or money on technology. They believed more people were the answer. And at the time, they were right. It is only recently that new technology has made its way into prosecutors' offices. Now we see that more technology is the answer.
In the Tenth, we are embracing technology in every form. We have a number of new initiatives to make us better at serving the public.
We have installed wireless internet in every courtroom in the district to allow our attorneys to do everything from legal research to looking up defendants' prior records. In the courtroom, our lawyers will soon be able to research and draft motions and orders and print them on site. They will have tablets to manage their casefiles and use PowerPoint during trials to better illustrate their cases. Their casefiles will be available to them online and with a keystroke, they will be able to send discovery by email to defense counsel.
We have created gang tracking software that is being beta tested in the Cleveland Police Department and the Bradley County Sheriff's Office. This software will give law enforcement officers in the field the data they need about dangerous gang members and allow them to access and update real time data on these individuals. Officers can use their cell phones to access the data in roll call...or at night on the side of the road.
And lastly there is this blog, website and social media. We are now online, on Facebook and on Twitter. We did this to better inform the public. And to give them an opportunity to interact with us on the platforms that the world uses now.
Not a single tax dollar paid for our technological upgrades.
I am grateful to serve you as your District Attorney. I will continue to look for the best ways and the latest technology to make us better. We can never stop improving technology...because someday...tablets and Facebook will be like one of these...
Till next time...