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Judge orders jail to provide e-readers for inmates

Wants inmates to be allowed to view evidence against them on flash drives or other electronic media

By Sue Epstein
The Star-Ledger

MIDDLESEX COUNTY — A judge in New Brunswick ordered Middlesex County to provide inmates at the county jail with e-readers or other equipment needed for inmates to view evidence contained on flash drives or other electronic media.

In a decision issued today, Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz gave the county two weeks to produce a plan for him that outlined how inmates, both those isolated in single cells and those in general population, can view the “electronic discovery” in privacy even if their attorneys are not present.

“The law is absolutely unambiguous that defendants have the constitutional right to view the evidence against him or her,” Ferencz said. “In the present age, that right extends to electronic evidence. We don’t have carbon paper anymore. We have electronic discovery. It is where we’re going.”

The jail currently houses about 900 inmates. The decision covers all those who are awaiting trial.

Full story: Judge orders Middlesex jail to provide e-readers or other devices for inmates to view evidence