Supreme Court Justices

January 25, 2012 by staff 

Supreme Court Justices, It remains unclear whether cameras and recording devices could be used in Knox County courtrooms soon. The Illinois Supreme Court approved a pilot project Tuesday that allows news agencies to use cameras and electronic recording devices in trial courtrooms.

 The chief justice of each judicial circuit may ask to participate in the program and if approved, media outlets could electronically report on cases.

Ninth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Gregory McClintock said he is meeting with other judges in the area Friday, which is when they will likely discuss the issue. He said they need to review the policy before determining whether they will apply to participate in the program. If McClintock applies for the project, then cases in Knox, Fulton, Henderson, Warren, Hancck and McDonough counties could be reported on electronically.

“I need to see the Illinois Supreme Court policy and what’s involved. I don’t think any of the judges had a knee-jerk response to be opposed to it,” McClintock said.

He said he personally has some competing concerns about allowing cameras in courtrooms. He said although the measure would allow the public to see how the judicial system works, there is also a possibility that attorneys and witnesses will play to the cameras. Additionally, it may increase the amount of coverage in a case, which in turn may make it more difficult to find a fair jury.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Illinois was one of 14 states that prohibited or seriously restricted cameras and recording devices in trial courtrooms. Since 1983, news cameras have been allowed in the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court.

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