Re "State courts must enter the electronic age" (Editorials, Feb. 1): The Bee editorial board and the Legislative Analyst's Office rely on a discredited report over a decade old. Professional court reporters continue to provide at their own expense the most advanced digital technology in producing the court record at rates that are now 25 years old.
Court reporters generate $40 million per year in fees, as civil litigants pay for their services, not the state's general fund. Antiquated recording equipment creates innumerable problems -- lost recordings, mistrials requiring costly retrials and lack of security for sensitive information. Witness the recent loss of words spoken by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who asked a question from the bench for the first time in seven years -- the recording missed it.
-- Arnella Sims, Los Angeles
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