A Case for Animation: A Study of the Use of Forensic Multimedia in the Courtroom
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences
Maxine S. Cohen
Forensic multimedia is the specific term for computer simulation and computer animation presented as evidence in a court of law. Since its first use in the courtroom in the early 1990's, many high profile legal teams have used forensic multimedia to present arguments to reproduce an occurrence of events. Since that time, significant literature has been written on the use of forensic multimedia in the courtroom specifically targeted “towards the legal aspects of inclusion of the media as evidence, and rules and regulations about its admissibility. Special courtrooms have been developed to facilitate the use of multimedia, yet there has been no published research on the subject of the capabilities of lawyers to understand the process and address the educational aspects of the medium. The author's goal for this dissertation was the evaluation of the use of forensic multimedia in the greater Atlanta legal community. The study includes research on the use of forensic multimedia in the target area, a usability evaluation of a forensic multimedia product, a survey of southern US law school curricula as to the inclusion of forensic multimedia conceptual training in the programs, and a survey of the capabilities of lawyers in the target area as to their understanding of the multimedia process and use of forensic multimedia in the courtroom.
Results of the research indicate a lack of formal education by law schools in the concepts and use of forensic multimedia. A survey of legal professionals confirms that lawyers are unfamiliar with the components and methodologies of use of the media. In addition, usability research of forensic multimedia software indicates areas for usability improvement.
Eddie R. Wachter. 2004. A Case for Animation: A Study of the Use of Forensic Multimedia in the Courtroom. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences. (904)