Tag Archives: cameras in court

Bring cameras into court

By Christopher B. Daly

Hard to believe, but most federal courts and all military courts remain closed to cameras. That means that you and I — in other words, The People — cannot observe what’s going on in the judicial branch.

Here are some reflections on closing the Gitmo trials to cameras.

How can this possibly look to the rest of the world? Does it signal that the high-tech United States relies on pastels to communicate? Does it signal that the big, strong America is afraid of something?

The sketch artists do a great job under trying circumstances, and I would hope that they would always be welcome in courtrooms. But let’s get a video camera in there, too.

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Sheesh.

 

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Let cameras into court

By Christopher B. Daly 

As I recently argued, we the people deserve to have cameras in all our courtrooms (except maybe juvenile court) and our legislative bodies.

The latest case in point: the appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston yesterday by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing case. Radiating out from downtown Boston, millions of people have a keen interest in this case, and they all have a right to see this defendant. We have a right to hear him say “Not guilty.” We have a right to observe the performance of the government parties — the prosecutors, the judge, the guards, etc. We have the right to watch our government.

Instead, what we get is a chalk sketch like this one:

Suspected terrorist Margaret Small/AP

Suspected terrorist
Margaret Small/AP

We can do better, and we the people deserve better. 

If anybody knows of a good argument for continuing to ban cameras from federal courts, please leave a comment.

 

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Filed under Boston, broadcasting, journalism history, media, Photojournalism, Supreme Court