Television in the Courtroom

Archive Report

Trend Toward Televised Trials

Role of Recording Equipment in Court

The right to a fair trial is the cornerstone of the American system of criminal justice. Its importance in American life is equalled only by the right to vote and the right to speak and think freely. In the United States, a trial is a public event — but not a public spectacle. It is open to the public who wish to attend, but insulated against undue external pressures by the atmosphere of the courtroom, the impartiality of the judge and the lack of bias of the jurors.

In the last five years, a threat to this fundamental right has arisen from an unlikely direction. Television — the most influential modern invention since the automobile — has ...

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