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  • Florida defense lawyer Ken Padowitz filed the motion with the aim of using VR to bolster his defense of a client.
  • In 1992, Padowitz convinced the judge of a hit-and-run case to permit jurors to view a 2-D computer animation on a television screen, setting the precedent for the use of computer animations in criminal trials.
  • With the proposed VR tool, jurors would have their 360 degree view of the virtual experience recorded to ensure their attention is on the points of evidence.

Virtual reality may soon be introduced to courthouses throughout the United States and used to aid the jurors in making decisions. Florida defense lawyer Ken Padowitz filed the motion to Judge Ernest Kollra in hopes that VR will bolster his defense of a client, who is accused of attempting to murder a neighbor with a Dodge Viper.

According to the periodical Government Technology, Padowitz worked as a prosecutor in a manslaughter hit-and-run case in Broward County back in 1992. He convinced the judge to permit jurors to view a 2-D computer animation on a television screen, a legal approach which was upheld by the court and set the precedent for the use of computer animations in criminal trials.

Eyewitness Animations, the graphics company who created the animation for Padowitz’s case in 1992, will also produce the virtual reality presentation for the current hit-and-run case. The jurors will have a 360 degree field of vision inside the VR animation, and will have each of their perspectives recorded to ensure that they’re focused on the evidence instead of being distracted by the technology.

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A hearing for Padowtiz’s motion occurred on Friday but ended with the ruling being deferred by the judge, the Sun Sentinel reports.