Question: Can an attorney do a demonstration and/or experiment in court in front of the jury?
Answer: Yes, if the demonstration and/or experiment aids, but does not confuse, the jury. Experiments and demonstrations are properly permitted to be conducted during the trial, if they will aid the court and jury. The conduct of experiments and demonstrations in the courtroom can however pose peril to the fairness of a trial. In deciding whether to permit one, a court should consider such factors as the ability to make a faithful record of the drama for appeal purposes, the degree of accuracy in the recreation of the actual prior conditions, the complexity and duration of the procedures, other available means for proving the same facts, and the risk which the conduct of such a procedure may pose to the fairness of the trial. Here unreasonableness or arbitrariness in the ruling of the trial court is not apparent, since the court could have given weight to such obvious negative considerations as the ease with which the height of the two could be shown by other means, the lack of duplication of prior conditions at the time of the crime, and the possible threat to the fairness of the trial posed by having to take precautions for the safety of the witness during such a demonstration before the jury.