If you've ever wondered what it's like to sit in on a state Supreme Court hearing, you won't have to go to the state capitol to find out. What's going on in the courtroom will be at your fingertips. The Mississippi Supreme Court will broadcast its oral arguments live over the internet.
This week technicians will be installing cameras to take courtroom videos. Michael Jones, Informational Systems Director said that the live streaming audio and video can be accessed through the supreme court web site. "It's just an acknowledgment that we're in an information society and it's our part of trying to get the information out to the public," said Justice Ed Pittman, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice.
The courtroom will be set up with two cameras, one on the justices and one on the lawyer addressing the justices. Officials say not only are the broadcasts good resources for the attorneys and even students, but they'll also help the court. "We're also using this as an archiving tool for the court. Before we were using cassettes to record the audio. Now we'll be collecting audio and video on CD ROM," Jones said.
Florida and Washington are the only other states that broadcast their oral arguments live over the Internet. But the Mississippi Supreme Court will be the first state agency to broadcast its activities for all Mississippians to see. The Internet broadcasts should be up and running by April. The project will cost about 55 thousand dollars and will be paid for by funds already in the Supreme Court's budget.