Alaska warms to art software

If you're accused of a crime in Alaska and can't afford an attorney, don't give up
hope. You might be rescued by Visio software.

 Gary Eichhorn, a computer systems administrator with the Federal Public Defender
Office (FPDO) in Anchorage, has used Visio Corp.'s graphics software since 1993 for making
courtroom displays. The FPDO division of the U.S. Courts represents defendants who can't
afford attorneys.

 With the Visio 4.1 Technical package, Eichhorn draws floor plans of houses, area
maps of cities and objects such as automobiles that figure into criminal cases.
"Opposing counsel can attack a drawing" if it's not precise, he said. "If
the car in question is a Mustang, and we put up a generic car, they would call into
question other facts we present. We have to portray things as they are."  

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