Cameras in the Courtroom

Television and the Pursuit of Justice


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About the Book

Do cameras influence courtroom proceedings? What effect, if any, do they have on trial participants? What implications do televised trials have on due process? Why have the courts, including the Supreme Court, traditionally excluded cameras? What, in short, is the future of the camera in the courtroom? Through interviews with numerous legal scholars, judges, attorneys, defendants, jurors, witnesses, and journalists, these questions and many others are thoroughly examined.
The impact of the cameras in several high-profile trials is analyzed, as are a number of cases in which cameras were excluded. A look at Court TV provides an instructive overview of the good and bad of television coverage. Includes an updated preface and a new introduction.

About the Author(s)

Marjorie Cohn is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.
David Dow is a retired CBS News correspondent who covered both O.J. Simpson trials, the Rodney King trials, and many others.

Bibliographic Details

Marjorie Cohn and David Dow
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 203
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6607-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8900-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii

Preface     1

1 The Simpson Legacy     3

2 Cameras Through the Years     14

3 Is the Televised Trial a Fair Trial?     26

4 Does a “Public Trial” Mean a Televised Trial?     39

5 Do Cameras Change the Process?     62

6 Two Trials: Trial by Jury and the Court of Public Opinion     76

7 States’ Rights     89

8 The Federal Case     111

9 Court TV     124

10 Some Camera (and Trial) Saving Alternatives     136

11 Cameras—Now and in the Future     148

List of Persons Interviewed     161

Chapter Notes     163

Index     183

Book Reviews & Awards

“a concise, readable overview…very useful”—Choice; “belongs on the shelf of every criminal defense lawyer. It’s the most balanced, comprehensive treatment available of every contentious issue surrounding this debate…a unique blend of historical insight, practical experience, and academic rigor”—California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; “details the often tense relationship between the First and Sixth amendments”—Los Angeles Daily Journal; “investigates the influence of televised courtroom proceedings on trial participants, as well as the related implications for due process”—Criminal Justice Abstracts; “The best book yet about cameras in the courtroom. Meticulously researched and engagingly written.”—Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of law, University of Southern California Law School; “A rare combination of a must-have resource book and an easy read.”—Fred Graham, managing editor, Court TV. “Indispensable.”—Linda Deutsch, special correspondent, Associated Press; “The definitive work.”—Laurie L. Levenson, associate dean for academic affairs, Loyola Law School.