According to a recent article posted by the Lexington Herald-Leader on its website Kentucky.com, a malfunction in courtroom recording equipment prompted a judge last month to declare a mistrial in the case of murder defendant Patrick Deon Ragland. Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone declared the mistrial just before the start of the third day of the trial, telling jurors that the courtroom recording equipment had not preserved the opening statements by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Ann Red Corn or public defender Lucas Roberts, nor the testimony of the trial’s first four witnesses.
The recordings are crucial in the event that the case is appealed to a higher court, Scorsone explained to the jurors. If either the defense or prosecution argues that a mistake was made, the recordings are used by appellate judges to determine whether a reversible error was made. Without that recording, appellate judges would not be able to make a determination.