I watched a portion of a trial today while I was waiting for my case to be called in the Birch Building. I have a case next week withe the same prosecutor and just wanted to watch. One evidence issue came to mind during the trial which sparked a thought. Normally , when a video tape is introduced at trial, the district attorney’s office provides a transcript. The stated purpose is to assist the jury. The court gives a curative instruction that the video is evidence not the transcript. During a trial , I never watched the judge or jury during the video. I am concentrating on the video.Funny things happen when you watch.
Even though the judge told them the video was the evidence not the transcript , something happened . The jurors did not watch the video statements at all. They focused in on the transcript. The judge went to the transcript. The demeanor of the detectives and the witness was ignored.
Rule 1001 of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence provides ;
To prove the content of a writing, recording, or photograph, the original writing, recording, or photograph is required, except as otherwise provided in these rules or by Act of Congress or the Tennessee Legislature
From watching the trial today , it appears the transcripts outweigh what is on the evidence. The transcript trumps the video. Now i know why the district attorney provides the transcript.