Friday, February 3, 2012

Illinois Supreme Court To Test Cameras In Trial Courts

Last week the Illinois Supreme Court announced that they will allow a test program that will allow for the use of cameras in trial courts in Illinois.  The media has been allowed to record proceedings in the Supreme Court and the Appellate Courts since 1983, but until now, recording has been outlawed in the state's 23 circuit courts.  The pilot program will allow the media to use still and video cameras to record criminal and civil proceedings.  Illinois is currently one of fourteen states that ban cameras in trial courts.  Cameras are also banned in all federal district courts as well.  This pilot program will be on an experimental and limited basis.  Cameras inside courtrooms could add an entirely new element to cases that was not even a consideration in Illinois.  This week the Illinois Supreme Court announced that the pilot program will take place in Northwestern Illinois.  The counties include, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside.  The county is the 14th Judicial Circuit.  Iowa, which is just across the Mississippi River, has allowed cameras in their courtrooms since 1979.  Yesterday the first proceeding allowing the use of cameras occurred in Rock Island County.

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