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NCJ Number: 76954 Find in a Library
Title: Case for Cameras in the Courtroom
Journal: Judges Journal  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1981)  Pages:22-24,49-50
Author(s): S E Nevas
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Modern means of information should be utilized in the courtroom, according to this article, which refutes arguments against televised trials and states that modern equipment will not disrupt the proceedings.
Abstract: The issue of physical intrusion into the important processes of justice no longer exists because the modern cameras need no additional light, and the equipment is miniaturized and silent. The goal of the media is to help the public hear and see what happens in court under court-issued rules. However, new problems are raised by opponents of televised court trials. For example, they fear that the legal process will be distorted for commercial purposes and that jurors or witnesses will be in danger if recognized by the community. However, broadcasters take very seriously their constitutional responsibility to inform the public. Furthermore, surveys of those who have participated in trials covered by cameras and microphones show that they are either not at all or only sightly affected. More research is needed to determine whether the effects of modern print coverage are any different than those of modern electronic coverage on parties, witnesses, judges, lawyers, and jurors. The novelty and tentativeness of modern courtroom coverage should also be taken into account. Unfortunately, uncertain if camera and microphone coverage should be authorized, judges in many States leave the decision to the involved parties. The States should follow Florida's example, whereby if a party or participant objects to full media coverage, an opportunity is provided to move for its exclusion. Modern technology should be used to give more people direct access to court proceedings. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Courtroom proceedings broadcasting; Defendants; Judicial process; Jury decisionmaking; Witness protection
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