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Cover Image: CQ Researcher Cameras in the Courtroom v.21-2
  • Date: 01/14/2011
  • Format: Electronic PDF
  • Price: $15.00

  • Format: Single Copy
  • Price: $15.00
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CQ Researcher Cameras in the Courtroom v.21-2
Kenneth Jost, The CQ Researcher

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 sign of welcoming cameras into their hallowed courtroom in the foreseeable future.

Kenneth Jost, The CQ Researcher

Kenneth Jost has written more than 160 reports for CQ Researcher since 1991 on topics ranging from legal affairs and social policy to national security and international relations. He is the author of The Supreme Court Yearbook and Supreme Court From A to Z (both CQ Press). He is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Georgetown Law School, where he teaches media law as an adjunct professor.

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