New Cameras Allow Judges to Hear Cases with Defendant Still in Jail

There's a new way to hold court in Smith County, and it means a defendant might never have to see the judge in person. Eight videoconferencing units will connect the Smith County Courthouse with the County Jail.

   Right now, most prisoners walk through an underground tunnel to the courthouse, where they are often exposed to the public. Now, with the prisoner's consent, hearings can be done without the inmate going anywhere.

The cameras were purchased through an outside grant, costing county taxpayers nothing.

Morgan Palmer, reporting.