Web cams help reduce court backlog

By David Knopf/Richmond News

To date, modern technology has yet to revolutionize the way things are done in Ray County. But on Friday, a judge and several prisoners in custody at Ray County Jail took care of some routine business without getting in a vehicle.

Associate Circuit Court Judge James Thompson sat in his office at one end of a videoconference hook-up, while Public Defender Melinda Troeger, a jailer and prisoners sat on the other – in the jail building in Henrietta.

Thompson said that with the courthouse closed on Monday for Veterans Day and Tuesday’s court docket already packed, it was decided to cut into the stack of routine arraignments by doing some Friday and others later this week.

Thompson sat in front of a laptop and a Web cam, waiting for both sides to establish video contact. Once everything was in place, Thompson called the first of a list of defendants. He wore his black robe, as he would in court, and went through the usual courtroom procedures to put the proceedings on record.


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