Jump to content

Televising live court cases


StringJunky
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not sure where to put this. Please move as appropriate, mods. I'm not sure how it's going to develop.

What are the consequences and effects of live court broadcasts up to this point in time on the  execution of justice and how may it develop in the future?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m fine with cameras in the courtroom for reference and training purposes, but I see a lot of potential risks airing it live to the public. It will make it more like a reality TV show where lawyers and judges are pandering to an audience to drive their own popularity and @ mentions and likes, etc. 

The justice system should be fair and justice blind. Arguments can be made on both sides, but I tend to see more harm than good in most cases (SCOTUS being the exception in my mind due to the broad sweeping impact of their decisions). 

On another note, CourtTV has been on for 30 years now already. Can’t say it’s had any meaningful impact, negative or positive. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Closed circuit would be useful for juries to review testimony: body language and tone are more informative than a dead transcript. Also, in some cases there may be a questions regarding possible jury tampering, irregularity on the part of legal personnel, coaching of a witness or the chain of custody of physical evidence. A video record, preferably from at least two angles, would be as useful in a courtroom as it is on the football pitch. 

As mass entertainment, I'm very much against it. Most trials are not interesting enough to watch, but in the high-profile ones, iNow is right: the advocates do play to the house, and sometimes the 'yard', rather than directing their argument to the judge and jury. Even when there is no obvious short-term effect, it's a very bad idea to expose jurors, officers of the court and junior law clerks to public scrutiny - with all the dangers of of social media and targeting by crazies of all kinds, from unwanted romantic advances to bribe offers to harassment to physical intimidation. The worst long-term effect on society is subtle: a general fear of exposure. Good citizens will not come forward to accuse, to testify or to serve on juries; thrill-seekers and self-promoters might come forward with bogus information. I don't know whether, or to what extent, that's happened. It's not permitted in Canadian courts, where the effects would be more easily measurable, due to the scale.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Pete said.  Would only add:  if you were a defendant,  would you want your ordeal to be mass media entertainment?  Being a name,  and still photo,  in the press is one thing.   Being an involuntary reality TV star,  with a camera trained on you to capture your suffering,  is another.   Cruel treatment of someone whose guilt has yet to be determined.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And their families. That's an aspect I forgot about. The defendant may be in custody, relatively safe, but any family members who come out to support them may be vulnerble to hostile action. These days, you can't rely on any degree of civil conduct. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.