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Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice

NCJ Number
Marjorie Cohn; David Dow
Date Published
202 pages
This book examines the wide range of viewpoints on the issue of allowing television cameras in the courtroom.
The book discusses the legacy of the O.J. Simpson trial, which raised a number of questions regarding televised court proceedings: Does it give viewers a distorted view of the American justice system restricted to “megatrials”? Will the expectations of jurors in criminal cases be unrealistically raised as a result of the vast resources expended in the Simpson trial? Does the courtroom camera change the nature of trials -- and the behavior of participants -- and prolong the trials? In addition to examining the Simpson trial, the book considers the following: (1) Cameras Through the Years; (2) Is the Televised Trial a Fair Trial? (3) Does a “Public Trial” Mean a Televised Trial? (4) Trial by Jury and the Court of Public Opinion; (5) States’ Rights; (6) The Federal Case; (7) Court TV; (8) Some Camera (and Trial) Saving Alternatives; and (9) Cameras -- Now and in the Future. Notes, index