Give juries video recordings of testimony

I just finished serving on a jury in a rape trial.  The accused and the alleged victim had been best friends.  The alleged victim testified that she was forcibly raped whereas the defense attorney suggested that the sex was consensual.  The accused never testified.  The only significant evidence presented by the prosecution was the testimony of the alleged victim.  During cross examination the defense attorney attempted to reduce the credibility of the alleged victim and managed to trip her up on one point.  Everyone on the jury agreed that the case came down to the credibility of the alleged victim.   

It would have been extremely helpful during our deliberations to have had a videotape of the alleged victim’s testimony.  But the judge told us that it was not even possible to have a transcript of such testimony.  All we had to rely on were the handwritten notes we were allowed to take during trial.

The cost of providing the jury with a video recording, audio recording or written transcript would have been trivial, perhaps less than the cost of keeping a man in jail for a single day.  So I can’t imagine that cost is the reason why we the jury were denied such useful information.  Rather I suspect that those Massachusetts politicians or officials who have the power to give juries such information don’t greatly care about the accuracy of jury trials.

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