Cameras in Courtrooms

A courtroom is a place that no one wants to be on the bad side of. But why is it that individuals want to view what is going on inside? Curiosity is something that is instilled in the public, especially when it comes to criminals in the process of conviction. Cameras in courtrooms can cause controversy that may influence jury verdicts positively and negatively. Though it has been prohibited that cameras are to be in in court rooms, the states may adopt rules permitting cameras and recording equipment in their courts.

There has been many instances of controversy with cameras in the courtroom. For example, Estes vs. Texas. The Supreme Court ruled that the defendant who was assumed of serial conning farmers did not receive a fair trial. They believed this because of the fact that there was extensive media coverage in the courtroom. Media coverage that included cameras, power line and audio cables. It was said the the media overflow was distracting to the judges, jurors and the witnesses which led to affected decisions and testimonies.

The public demand for cameras in the court is rising. In June 2009, 61 percent of likely voters said the court should allow televised coverage of oral arguments. Why should cameras be allowed in courtrooms? Many people believe that in a democratic society, people have a right of access to courts. For instance, many may be interested in watching a trial but cannot sit in in which they have the right to. Therefore they would choose to watch it on TV. “We should not have to make such sacrifices of time and money in order to enjoy our democratic rights”. Another reason as to why cameras should be allowed in courtrooms is the improvement of the publics confidence in the judiciary and the system of justice as a whole. Simply put, the public doesn’t usually see anything that goes on behind the scenes. Media usually shows the imperfections and accidents that judges make and leaves out the important information. With cameras in courtrooms the public will have access to the competence and efficiency of our judicial system.

Why shouldn’t cameras be allowed in courtrooms? “By showing the defendant on television, the general public will be able to reach conclusions about guilt or innocence that may not be reflected in the final verdict of the jury”. Simply put, people will judge a book by its cover. If they see a defendant in cuffs and an orange jumpsuit they automatically assume that he is guilty without knowing the story. By exposing the defendant on television, the news or any other kind of media he or she may be unjustified. If the defendant was broadcasted on television in a trial and was found not guilty, he or she may still be judged by the public just by walking on the street.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Reno Tahoe area, contact Joey Gilbert Law​.Call (775) 574-4774


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