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Cameras in Courtrooms

Posted - Nov. 17, 2004 at 9:03 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

The Utah Supreme Court did something rather extraordinary on October 28. For the first time ever from those hallowed chambers, television viewers got to witness live, as it happened, a significant legal proceeding. The occasion was the matter of mayoral candidate Ellis Ivory’s place on the November 2 ballot in Salt Lake County.

In an unobtrusive way, a camera placed beforehand in the courtroom, captured the drama of the legal arguments, along with the comments and inquiries of the justices. Soon afterwards, the justices, of course, ruled in Ivory’s favor, although he eventually lost the race.

In KSL’s view, the opportunity to view a live broadcast of the Utah Supreme Court in action was long overdue. Far too many judges in Utah and across America harbor undue concerns about cameras in courtrooms. Cameras disparage the judicial process, they claim. Yet, there is ample evidence to suggest that’s not the case. Rather, cameras serve to expand the courtroom gallery, allowing many more citizens the opportunity to observe justice in action.

So, kudos to the Utah Supreme Court for taking a major step forward in the cameras-in-the-courtroom debate. It was a significant moment in Utah judicial history. Allowing the public to view judicial proceedings via live broadcast should occur more frequently. We hope it does.

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