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Cameras in the Courtroom

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Topic: "The Use of Videotapes and Cameras in the Courtroom and the Jury Deliberation Room"

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Outlined for you. The background is more complete. I mentioned several cases, but others such as the Menendez Brothers are out there too. Murder is the big focus for cameras in the courtroom.

Focus points are history of cameras and videotaping in the courtroom, it's significance,
In 1946 criminal rules were adopted in the federal courts that prohibited the use of electronic media coverage in the courtroom. This changed in in wording in 1972 by the Judicial Conference of the United States when they "adopted a prohibition against broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom ad areas immediately adjacent thereto." (www.uscourts.gov)

In 1988, Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed a committee to review and make suggestions on cameras in the courtroom. Their report in the Judicial Conference's 1990 session, recommended a pilot program permitting electronic media coverage of civil proceedings in six district and two appellate courts. They also rescinded the prohibition and adopted a policy on cameras that gave judges the power to authorize the use of recording and broadcasting or taking photographs in the courtroom and in area adjacent during investitive, naturalization, or other ceremonial proceedings. Activities in the classroom or adjacent areas were only for the presentation of evidence, to record the proceedings, security purposes, judicial administration, and accordance with the pilot programs approved. The pilot program was a three year trial program that began in July of 1991.

In 1994, a report on the pilot program, which concluded in December of 1994, led the Judicial Conference decided that there were many concerns including intimidating effects on jurors and witnesses and declined to approve expanding the camera coverage in civil proceedings. In September of the same year, they refused to approve cameras in criminal proceedings.

In 1996, the Judicial Conference authorized the court of appeals in each district to decide for itself about the permitting of taking photographs, radio and television coverage, in appellate arguments. These would still be subject to any statutes, national or local rules already in place or that may be adopted by the Conference. At the same session, the Conference also voted to strongly urge each circuit judicial council to adopt an order reflecting the 1994 decision to not let photographs, radio, or television coverage of proceedings in U.S. district courts and that local rules not conflict with this decision.

In 2010, the Conference again began a pilot program for ...

Solution Summary

A review of the cameras in the courtroom debate, the value of cameras in the courtroom and how it affects the proceedings.

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Cameras in the Courtroom

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