Researchers from Staffordshire University are looking into a revolutionary way to provide jurors with more insight as they study crimes—through virtual reality (VR).
The first of its kind in Europe, this project will use traditional VR gaming headsets with green screen technology to recreate crime scenes and “transport” jurors to where it all happened.
“What we want to do is to come up with the best solution that helps the criminal justice system – help the police in their detection and recording of crime and then to help jurors in court to understand those crimes better that they ever did before,” says Dr. Caroline Sturdy Colls, Associate Professor of Forensics.
While the technology could certainly change the legal process, the logistics for collecting crime scene data and information will have to change significantly. Currently, to recreate the space and scene as accurately as possible, the university has been using lasers and drones.
However, he idea of having jurors be completely immersed in a crime scene through VR means possible compromised crime scenes. If the data collection for its digital reconstruction isn’t conducted properly, it could affect the jury’s decision.
Already, critics are noting that VR technology in courtrooms is no more effective than playing videos for jurors. However, those who support this research believe that if used properly, this technology could cut down on unnecessary hearings and even lower litigation costs.