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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76720 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Cameras in the Courtroom - The Florida Experiment
Journal: Illinois Bar Journal  Volume:67  Dated:(October 1978)  Pages:82-87
Author(s): M E Aspen
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a visit made by the Illinois Bar Association's five-person delegation to Miami, Fla., to observe that State's experimental program permitting television and still cameras to photograph and record courtroom proceedings.
Abstract: Currently, at least 17 States permit television coverage of trial or appellate proceedings under specified conditions. Illinois is not one of those States; rule 61 (c) (24) of the Supreme Court of Illinois provides that the photographing or televising of court proceedings is prohibited. During the Florida visit, delegation members observed the televising of a murder trial, conferred with bar leaders, and viewed videotapes of television news coverage of court proceedings which occurred during the 1-year experimental period. The attitude of delegation members prior to the visit was one of skepticism. Four specific areas of concern included possible disruption of trial cameras, possible change in behavior on the part of judges and attorneys because of camera presence, fair and responsible coverage of trials by the media, and possible intimidation or distraction of witnesses or jurors by the knowledge that they might appear on television. Only the final concern, possible witness/juror intimidation, was found to be a legitimate problem. The Florida program permitting television coverage is expected to be adopted soon on a permanent basis. Wisconsin has become a second State to adopt a Florida-type program, and it is expected that other jurisdictions may soon follow. The American Bar Association has signaled approval for a reexamination of the traditional attitudes of the bar and judiciary, which oppose cameras in the courtroom. The article provides 24 footnotes.
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Courtroom proceedings broadcasting; Fair trial-free press; Florida; Illinois; Television communications; Wisconsin
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