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Cameras in Court

Cameras in Court
James Steiner
Oct 12, 2005 

The who’s who, of the legal profession, were in Reno today…talking about some of the most high profile cases we’ve seen in the past few years.
We told you, at five, how these attorneys feel like celebrities with all the media attention.
But, are cameras in the courtroom…adding to the frenzy?
One side of the debate says cameras distract the overall court proceedings.
Whereas, the other side, says they help defendants get a fairer trial…because the public can see exactly what’s going on.
During the Michael Jackson child molestation case, no cameras were allowed in the courtroom.
All the pictures of the trial came from sketches…so it was the job of reporters to relay what was being said in court.
Defense attorney Thomas Mesereau says there lay the problem.
Mesereau says sensationalism led to higher ratings…but not the outcome of the case.
Michael Jackson was eventually acquitted of all charges.
Other lawyers take a different view: cameras disrupt justice from being done.
Ultimately, it’s a judge’s decision whether or not to allow cameras.
Judge Richard Jones presided over the Gary Ridgeway trial…better know as the "Green River Killer."
He says as long as the media knows his boundaries…he doesn’t object.
Judge Jones says his responsibility is to conduct a fair trial.
He says justice was served in the "Green River Killings"…even with cameras in court.
Media attorneys say there’s enough public interest in high profile cases that they have a right to see what’s going on.

My view:  The media frenzy was created because the cameras were not allowed in the court room, which created a free for all to report what was going on from their own points of view, to shape the opinions of the public in their favor.  Thank God that the jury didn’t rule on what the media reported.

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