Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is Justice Blind? Well, the Lights Went Out...

Judges and lawyers were stopped in mid-sentence when the lights went out in Montgomery County's Circuit Court. It was just before 2 o'clock and Judge John Debilius was listening to attorneys in a status hearing on a murder case when power went off.  Waiting for a moment to see if the power would kick in the Judge said "Let the record reflect we are now--literally---in the dark."

After it was clear it would take a while to get the power back on, the decision was made to cut the day short. One of the biggest concerns: the need to have an audio record of all legal proceedings. 

Defense Attorney Barry Helfand said he was in the middle of an argument when the power went out. "Now in the old days, there was no such thing as tape recording--you had stenographers. And now, without a record? Everything comes to an immediate halt."

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