Cameras in the Courtroom

Should TV be allowed in federal courts?


Television cameras have been allowed in state courts for more than 30 years, but the Supreme Court and federal judiciary have been staunchly opposed to video coverage of trials or appeals. Media groups and others say that video coverage of courts helps educate the public about the legal process while strengthening public accountability over the judicial system. Some, but not all, criminal defense lawyers worry that televised trials can jeopardize defendants' rights. The most significant resistance to cameras in the courtroom comes from judges and some private lawyers who discount the claimed benefits and warn that cameras could invite grandstanding by lawyers or risk intimidating jurors and witnesses. The Supreme Court recently made audio tapes of arguments more readily available, but the justices show no ...

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