The Chief Judge for Cook County has come out in strong support of putting cameras inside of courtrooms in Cook County. In fact he is so much in favor of placing cameras in court that he is considering reassigning judges who are opposed to having cameras placed in their courtrooms. Chief Judge Timothy Evans has stated that he expects the cameras to be installed by the end of the year and is expecting that cameras will be placed in the criminal and civil courtrooms as well as in the suburban districts. The camera program began in January of this year when the Illinois Supreme Court began a pilot program allowing cameras in courtrooms. The program began outside of Cook County and has slowly been expanded in other counties and has been moving closer and closer to Cook County. Judge Evans seems to be moving towards enacting a more expansive program than the Illinois Supreme Court envisioned. For instance the Supreme Court gave trial judges discretion in deciding if cameras will be allowed in their courtrooms. Evans indicated that he may use his authority as Chief Judges to reassign judges who resist. He wants to explore finding a way to televise bond hearings even though the Supreme Court provided for a 14 day period of notice by the media before televising a court hearing. He also is considering placing cameras in each one of the suburban courthouses and transferring high profile cases to that courtroom so they could be televised.
It looks like big changes will be coming to the Cook County courthouses shortly. Stay tuned.
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