Criminal Law

Fourteen federal trial courts are taking part in the federal judiciary’s digital video pilot, which started July 18, 2011, and will evaluate the effect of cameras in courtrooms. All 14 courts volunteered to participate in the 3-year experiment. Read an overview of the pilot and the history of cameras in the courtroom. In what ways might pretrial news coverage be damaging to the objective outcome of a criminal trial? Given the emphasis that society places on freedom of the press and freedom of speech, do you believe that judges should be allowed to issue gag rules restricting the ability of trial participants to discuss a case outside of court? Do you think video cameras should be permitted in criminal courtrooms? Why or why not?

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