Amidst a growing clamor



Amidst a growing clamor for open government, the issue of whether or not cameras should be allowed in the courtroom needs to be revisited. In a sense, this issue is nothing new. It has been the subject of debate for more than 50 years by scholars, media advocates, lawyers, judges, and concerned citizens (Brill, 1996). Central to the debate are three conflicting constitutional rights - the free press provision in the First Amendment, the fair trial guarantee in the Sixth Amendment, and the due process rights in the Fourteenth Amendment (Sheldon et al., 1998). While advocacy against media access to the courtroom insist on the camera's tendency to disrupt proceedings and influence behavior of trial participants, recent advances in technology have rendered these arguments moot. Massachusetts District Judge Nancy Gertner asserted in her testimony to the hearing on S. 829 or the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2000 that the question of presence of cameras in the courtroom is a thing of the past; the question now, rather, is how to handle media coverage of trials (US House of Representatives, 2000).

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Transparency is a value held crucial by any democratic society. Only when the public is well-informed can it perform its obligation to shape policy. A government that operates in secret is considered to undermine this responsibility. Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman" (Birkinshaw, 1988, p. 17). In checking the institutions that influence and govern us, the media, also called the "fourth estate," is responsible in providing the public's "right to know." The judiciary, however, has escaped media scrutiny more than any other branch of government, and is, in the words of Justice Moore, a misunderstood institution: "There is no field of governmental activity concerning which the people are as poorly informed as the field occupied by the judiciary" (Goldberg 1994).

To compensate for this lack of public information about the judiciary, television became the most powerful medium to bring this about. Most Americans get their news through television more than any other medium. Today, "television is the number one source of news across the nation" (Gardner, 1985). In terms of reaching the highest number of people to educate and influence, television is the foremost venue. The emergence of Court TV, C-SPAN, and reality TV shows such as People's Court, Judge Judy, and Divorce Court aim to demystify the public on the judiciary and educate them on processes that to most laymen, are often difficult to comprehend. An inescapable development, however, is the proliferation of law-related reality TV shows that are, some say, more mindful of "ratings" than on perceived education benefits to the public.

Should cameras be allowed in a courtroom? This age-old question is revisited in this thesis. The analysis is different today because television has become so commonplace in our electronically advanced society. Its ubiquity, coupled with the invention of new courtroom technologies, serves as a new frame of reference to the debate. These factors are to be considered along the most predominant arguments for and against the presence of cameras in the courtroom.

Generally, the legal profession and the judiciary have espoused that cameras should not be allowed in the courtroom - their most powerful argument being that the presence of cameras is intrusive and thus interfere with the rights of the accused to fair trial provided in the Sixth Amendment (Cornell University, 2008):

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

On the other hand, journalists and advocates for "open government" argue against press restrictions (Hoyt, 1978; Alexander et al., 1997). Invoking the First Amendment, they assert of the public's right to be informed on the proceedings and outcomes of a trial (Cornell University, 2008):

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

These opposing arguments have bred the so-called fair trial-free press conflict which is rooted in guaranteeing the defendant's right to be tried by an impartial jury while satisfying the public's right to information about criminal proceedings (Kane, 1986).

Proponents of cameras in the courtroom argue a myriad of public benefits that could be derived from the broadcasting of trials. First, it allows citizens who cannot, because of the court's limited seating capacity, attend courtrooms to witness actual proceedings (Brill, 1996). Second, it can heighten the public's knowledge and understanding of the judiciary (Cohn & Dow, 1998), educate the public on related social issues, and assist in demanding accountability from the judicial branch (Goldfarb, 1998; Sather, 1999). Meanwhile, opponents of cameras in the courtroom contend that "freedom of the press to attend a public trial does not sanction bringing cameras into our courtrooms" (Hoyt, 1987); that media sensationalism arising from coverage leads to misinformation rather than education (Hengstler, 2006); that cameras negatively impact the conduct of the trial participants and its proceedings (Thaler, 1994); and that oversight on the judiciary can be possible without cameras in the courtroom (Erskine, 2006).

As will be explored later in this thesis, fifty states allow some camera coverage of its judicial proceedings and thirty-seven states currently allow televised coverage of criminal trials. In the federal system, permission of camera coverage is granted only in the Circuit courts of appeal with the approval of presiding judges. To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has been the greatest opponent of camera coverage, a position that some say, has toned down (Goldfarb, 1998).

The purpose of this thesis is to debate whether or not cameras should be permitted in the American courtroom. In the course of its examination, the thesis will undertake an exhaustive analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of displaying legal proceedings within the courtroom through the camera lens. In this thesis, "cameras in the courtroom" refers to the practice of news media in using cameras to take still or video footages of a judicial proceeding, whether in whole or in part. It is contrasted with conventional media coverage where news reporters in television or in print attend courtroom proceedings, take case notes, and then write reports or stories on the proceeding absent the use of an actual footage taken in the courtroom during such a proceeding.

The discussion starts with a brief historical review of media access into the American courtroom. Afterwards, an examination of cases involving media coverage, particularly those that have been considered as cause célèbre, is conducted in order to understand the significance of the practice in terms of its impact, positive and negative, in the criminal justice system. Next, recent legislative efforts and state laws related to media access are investigated to explore the current strides that states and policy actors from the judiciary have made to achieve a balance between free press-fair trial conflict that has governed the question of courtroom coverage.

In the third chapter, specific anti-camera arguments are explained and counterarguments explored and cross-referenced with other important cases. Key points of fair trial advocates are identified and counterpoints are presented accordingly to advance the case of pro-camera advocates. The ensuing discussion considers the preponderance of literature found in articles, commentaries, books, and congressional testimonies authored and presented by editorialists, reporters, lawyers, judges, and media advocates to promote their respective positions.

In the fourth chapter, this thesis analyzes and substantiates its position in favor of permitting cameras in the courtroom on the grounds that new advances in technology have made the camera a neutral and unobtrusive element that can help achieve balance the conflict between the free press guarantees enshrined in the first amendment and the fair trial provision provided in the Sixth Amendment. Further, the benefits of permitting cameras inside the courtroom far outweigh its disadvantages in terms of facilitating public education on the inner workings of the judicial system, promote public scrutiny and accountability of the judiciary, and reinforce public confidence in the justice system.

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Finally, conclusions as well as reflections on the ongoing debate over the question of cameras in the courtroom are presented in Chapter Five.

Chapter II


The case for and against media coverage of criminal trials has been debated for decades, but the appreciation of the publicized trial has been restricted mainly to the circumstances and outcomes surrounding the most celebrated cases. Most of these cause célèbre are generally deemed unfavorable in advancing the cause of media access to the courts (Goldfarb, 1998; Hayslett, 2008), but this paper challenges that observation. These so-called "trials of the century" have had lasting effects on the entire criminal justice system. More importantly, they have also become a significant springboard in the struggle to balance the free press-fair trial conflict.

This section aims to examine the negative and positive role of the media in its developing forms and the concrete lessons that have resulted out of the most famous and notorious publicized cases. Starting with the charges of seditious libel against New York publisher John Peter Zenger in 1735, to the subsequent prohibition of cameras in the courtroom following the famous Lindbergh kidnapping trial, and the sensational televised coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial in the 20th century, the dispute on televised courtrooms rages on.

Historical Background of Courtroom Media Coverage

Whether it be for the titillating courtroom drama or the genuine expression of the right to be publicly informed, Americans have always gravitated toward the public trial (Goldfarb, 1998). Throughout its history and evolution, deliberations on the issue of publicized trials have focused on whether or not media coverage of legal proceedings has performed a valuable contribution to society. Proponents and opponents alike argue on media's capacity to a) educate the public on the functions of the justice system; b) promote a vibrant and free press as enshrined in the First Amendment; and c) enhance the fair administration of justice provided in the Sixth Amendment. This section examines five of the most notable publicized cases in American history in an effort to understand the impact of media access on the criminal justice system.

1. John Peter Zenger (1735): Role of an Unrestrained Press

Court TV CEO Steven Brill argues that there is possibly no other country in the world that values freedom of the press as much as America (1996). He and other proponents of media coverage of courtroom trials legitimize their claims on the basis of the free press guarantees in the Constitution (Goldfarb, 1998; Thaler, 1994). The first public trial credited to have shaped the value of a free press in a burgeoning democratic society is the colonial-era case for seditious libel against New York publisher John Peter Zenger (Overbeck, 2007; White, 2005). The significance of the Zenger trial (hereafter Zenger) is often cited in line with one of the hallmarks of the foundation of the American nation: free press. Zenger planted the seeds of America's commitment to ensuring the freedom of the press, which Alexis de Tocqueville (1961) considers "critical to fighting the tyranny of the majority and fostering a democratic society" (p. 135). The trial of John Peter Zenger validates the proposition for an unrestrained press in the fulfillment of its duty to report and criticize (Schultz, 2000). It also strengthens the advocacy for open government (Chiasson, 1997).

The first public trial

The 1735 Zenger trial is the earliest known cause célèbre in colonial America (Attorney General v. John Peter Zenger, 17 Howell's State Trials 675). Accounts of the trial and its outcomes spread far and wide throughout the British colonies. Originally, Zenger's trial emerged out of a political dispute in colonial-era New York, then a city populated by about 10,000 (Chiasson, 1997). Zenger was publisher for the New York Weekly Journal, an opposition-backed newspaper used to counter the administration of Gov. William Cosby, a "quick-tempered, arrogant, and greedy" royal governor who was openly detested by the community. Shortly after arriving in 1732, Cosby quickly gained political enemies, the most notable of whom was his predecessor Rip Van Dam and the latter's supporters. Earlier booted out as governor of the island of Minorca by King George for political chicanery, Cosby became infamous for his haughtiness, greed, and corruption. Public disapproval of the governor was high. An account says that the general population openly detested Cosby because his "backdoor shenanigans painted a splendid portrait of a colonial carpetbagger" (Chiasson, 2000, p. 3). In addition to demanding half of the wages of the interim governor Van Dam, Cosby's shady deals, deliberate attempts to marginalize the Quakers, and extortions from land grantees, became an open secret (Overbeck, 2007). In a persistent effort to consolidate power and suppress dissent, Cosby sued Van Dam, installed his minions to prominent public offices, such as the judiciary, law enforcement and the press. Cosby controlled the only publication existing during this period - the Gazette.

In the face of such blatant abuse of power, the press became the only vehicle of dissent and expression of grievance against the administration. Cosby oppositionists and prominent New York citizens Lewis Morris and James Alexander wrote satirical pieces that were printed by John Peter Zenger in The New York Journal. In addition to satirical songs ridiculing Cosby, The Journal published political cartoons that alleged of the governor's collusion with the French, oppressive policies, and schemes cooked up to reduce New Yorkers as slaves of the Crown. One satire described Cosby as "A Monkey of the largest Sort, about 4 foot high... broke his chain and run into the country" (Mott, 1942, p. 32). The paper became immensely popular and copies "were selling fast as they were printed... editions had to be reprinted to meet the demand" (Chiasson, 2000, p. 7).

Incensed over the paper's damage to his reputation, Cosby went after the satirists of the Journal, and when pseudonyms prevented him from locking the actual perpetrators up, he had the publisher Zenger jailed and charged for the crime of "printing and publishing a false, scandalous and seditious libel, in which... the governor... is greatly and unjustly scandalized, as a person that has no regard to law nor justice" (Putnam, 1997, p. 17). During this period, criticisms against the colonial government, regardless of their veracity, were considered a crime. British law demanded that "the greater the truth, the greater the libel."

Zenger was arrested on November 17, 1734 and stood trial on August 4, 1735. In advancing the case for the defense, Zenger's lawyer, the venerable Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Hamilton invoked the public nature of the trial itself and exhorted the jury to deliberate on the Zenger case not merely as a seditious libel case, but as a case for open government. In urging the jury toward an acquittal, Hamilton said:

...[i]t is not the cause of a poor printer, nor of New York alone, which you are now trying. No! It may in its consequence affect every freeman that lives under a British government on the main of America. It is the best cause. It is the cause of liberty. (Rutherford, 1870, p. 45)

Indeed, the Zenger trial turned out to be one of the most public trials of its time. Public interest was widespread. Rutherford (1870) recounts that the courtroom was "...crowded to its utmost capacity. Every class in the community was represented" (p. 45). From its origin as a political feud in colonial New York, Zenger emerged as a significant public interest case. The people's desire to attend Zenger's trial was not due to the prominence and powerful rhetoric of Hamilton or of their fascination with courtroom drama, but a manifestation of their intent to be educated and to participate in a case they knew would have far-reaching consequences for them:

The majority of the people felt that they had assembled not merely to witness the trial of the printer for libel, but that here the last fight was to be made against the administration which was so arbitrarily oppressive. (Rutherford, 1870, p. 45)

The citizens' courtroom attendance stood for their willingness to be witness to a cause which would later shape core American ideals. The Zenger trial is even said to be "of such momentous importance to every inhabitant of the Province, that it is doubtful if any trial ever held in America had a more thoroughly interested and attentive audience" (Rutherford, 1870, p. 45).

It was then inevitable that after the jury acquitted Zenger after ten minutes of deliberation, there was an uproar from the audience so much so that the presiding judge, Chief Justice Delancey, warned of clearing the courtroom. Accounts of the case became widely publicized in reports that were disseminated from the colonies to England.

While the Zenger trial did not have an immediate impact on the libel laws at this period, it is credited to have planted "the seed for a still distant revolution." Stories about the triumph of the people over an abusive governor were told and retold. For the people of New York and elsewhere, justice prevailed in that small courtroom (Chiasson, 2000; Linder, 2001). This judicial triumph would forge a people's consciousness of the importance of free press and its role in democratic society. Fifty-six years hence, remnants of the Zenger trial eventually seeped into the text of the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution.

Impact of the Zenger trial

Zenger had several political contributions. First, it molded America's commitment to an unfettered press (Goldfarb, 1998; Chiasson, 2000). Indirectly, the Zenger trial also pushed for the interests of the media and its role in providing a "public scrutiny of the justice system" (Meiklejohn, 1961). In advancing the argument for an unrestricted press, Harvard Professor Zecharian Chafee (1942) said that freedom of expression is important not only for the emergence of truth but also to the advancement of knowledge. Chafee believes the quest for truth "is possible only through absolutely unlimited discussion" (p. 24). From a case founded on political chicanery and power, Zenger's publication became the medium from which great truths emerged (Buranelli, 1957). Perhaps the most notable contribution of Zenger is that it educated the people and made them a part in enabling democracy. Citizens will be unable to participate fully in a democratic society lest they gain a reasonable understanding of the political issues. Open debate and access to information is essential to lead toward this education. Zenger paved the way for pluralism as it helped citizens become acclimated to a society where political disputes are inherent (Copeland, 2000). Most importantly, it also gave the people a first-hand look at the importance of a public trial in the pursuit of justice and freedom. As Governor Morris stated, "The trial of Zenger in 1735 was the germ of American freedom, the morning star of that liberty which subsequently revolutionized America" (Putnam, 1997).

2. Lizzie Borden (1893): Justice Meets Sensationalism

As the medium of mass communication developed and nationwide press coverage became possible, media coverage of trials grappled with the problem of sensationalism (Goldfarb, 1998; Brill,1996; White, 2005). Sensationalism is defined broadly as a "subset of violent crimes...that generated a passionate public interest for months" (Trotti, p. 5). To most anti-courtroom coverage advocates, the media's tendency to sensationalize is an impediment to the fair administration of justice because of it has the possibility of leading toward prejudicial publicity.

Among the most sensational cases that not only gained nationwide press coverage but became immortalized in film, criminology, literature, and the arts, is the Victorian-era trial of Lizzie Borden, a 32-year old woman of Fall River, Massachusetts accused of the double murder of her father, Andrew Borden, and stepmother, Abby Borden. The crime was considered "notorious" not only for the brutal manner in which it was executed but for the scandalous possibility that a woman could have committed the gruesome act. The combination catapulted the case into the national limelight (Hixson, 2001; Alexander, 1991). Owing to extensive media coverage, public fascination on the outcome of the Borden trial continues to this day, and snippets of it are still remembered in the children's ditty: "Lizzie Borden took an axe/ And gave her mother forty whacks/ When she saw what she had done/ She gave her father forty-one" (Kent, 1992, p. 14).

The element of sensationalism

During this period, the newspaper was the sole medium of mass communication. Technological advances would alter the nature of press reportage in a society that had become "increasingly urban" and "consumer-oriented" (Hixson, 2001). When the Linotype machine was invented in 1886, typesetting, production, and daily circulation was expedited. The newspaper industry became extremely competitive. As newspapers vied for readership, generating profits through advertising became a necessity. This encouraged the practice of "yellow journalism" in the larger cities. In order to accelerate sale of newspapers, editors capitalized on stories capable of generating massive public interest. According to Hixson (2001), besides war, "a sensational murder and subsequent criminal trial" could sell more newspapers than any other event (p. 235). During this era, photography became a new medium in press coverage and was employed in the courtroom. In the 1890s, both prosecution and defense lawyers exploited photography as a means of substantiating guilt or innocence of the accused to the jury and the public audience (Spiering, 1991).

The elements surrounding the case were so dramatic that press coverage or not, the trial would have generated massive public speculation about Lizzie's guilt or innocence (Linder, 2004). On trial was a member of one of Fall River's most prominent families and a woman at that. Adding to the drama was a bitter relationship with a step-mother over the family fortune. Rumors over the incompetence of the police and the extremely brutal nature of the crime catapulted the case into a national spectacle (Cramer, 1994). The American press, which had just begun to go nationwide, grabbed the opportunity to sell such a sensational case. Newspapers competed against one another to built the most intensive coverage of the case and to get hold of scoops in emerging with new angles to explain the fate of the bludgeoned elderly couple (Hixson, 2001).

Upon Lizzie's indictment, reporters paraded into Fall River to cover the trial. Competition for readership was fierce during this time and the practice of "yellow journalism" was common. In order to sustain readership and sales, newspapers reported unconfirmed allegations and unsubstantiated rumors when no official statements on progress of the case were released (Hixson, 2001). The trial was covered by more than 100 reporters, who offered contradictory speculations on the guilt or innocence of the accused (Kent, 1992). However, the prevailing opinion, as noted by the national newspapers, was the local community's support for Lizzie: "Whatever the police may think of the strength of their clues... the opinions of Miss Borden's many friends are entirely in favor of her innocence" (Cramer, 1994). Citizens of Fall River refused to embrace the possibility that an upstanding woman citizen could have committed the brutal murders.

On June 20, 1893, the jury delivered a verdict of "not guilty" despite incriminating circumstances. Reasonable doubt was found on the fact that no blood evidence and murder weapon was found. Some speculate that the judge, who barred Lizzie's inquest testimony, was sympathetic to the defense (Hixson, 2001). Subsequent events, such as the arrest of an axe murderer Jose Correira close to Fall River, also added to the doubt regarding Lizzie's guilt.

An unsolved case

While the presence of national reporters and photographers covering the Borden trial was influential in generating attention to the case, many opine that it did not influence the outcome of the verdict (Knox, 1998; Hixson, 2001). Although observers cite that Lizzie may have used the media to her advantage, it was the conservative domestic ideology that prevailed in the end. Society, at this time, treated the Borden case, not as a case merely of "not only a particular woman, but the entire Victorian concept of womanhood, was on trial for its life." (Jacob, cited in Bellesiles, p. 270). The defense portrayed Lizzie as a woman living a model life - from her charity work with Chinese immigrant children to her membership in the Fall River Congregational church, "such acts as those are morally and physically impossible for this young woman defendant" (Pearson, 1924). Lizzie's acquittal is said to be a result of the jury's belief that the defendant's "good breeding" and femininity was consistent to her innocence and moral virtue. Many speculate that, had the defendant been male, the jury might have ruled for a conviction (Linder, 2004). Until today, the Fall River murders remain unresolved.

3. Richard Hauptmann (1934): The Media Ban

Perhaps one of the darkest chapters of media coverage of the courts is the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the alleged kidnapper of the 20-month old son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, Jr. (Cohn & Dow, 1998 ; Alexander, 2007; White, 2005). Because of the unruly manner in which the trial was conducted and the irresponsible behavior displayed by the press, the judge, and the audience during the proceedings, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case resulted to the eventual banning of cameras in the courtroom (Chiasson, 1997; Jones, 1997).

Retrospective opinions and accounts seem unanimous in suggesting that the overall conduct of the Hauptmann trial was "bizarre," "excessive," "inflammatory," and "downright irresponsible" (Lovrich et al., 1997). The circus-like atmosphere that the trial created was so to the extent that novelist Edna Ferber commented that the despicable behavior of almost everyone involved directly or indirectly with the trial made her want " resign as a member of the human race" (Goldfarb, 1998).

Until present, the outcome of the Hauptmann trial remains contentious and has made society confront the question of "what type of impact the media can and should have on a case" (Levenson, 2000, p. 592). Despite the prosecution's case being founded on circumstantial evidence, Hauptmann was eventually convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death by electrocution (Hixson, 2001). Critics have assigned the most blame on the media but have not discounted the role of the tumultuous crowd that participated in what eventually came to be known as a "media circus." Hauptmann appealed the decision arguing that his right to a fair trial was violated because of the disruptions in the courtroom, but the appellate court denied his appeal on the ground that the latter's objections should have been made at the time of such disruptions. Some people remained unconvinced of Hauptmann's guilt, including Governor Harold G. Hoffman of New Jersey, who urged for clemency. Clemency was denied twice and Hauptmann was ultimately put to death on April 3, 1936 (Nasheri, 2002). The verdict on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping has been challenged several times and Hauptmann's wife fought to prove his innocence to the very end.

A press coverage 'incomparable' in American history

The 1935 trial of Richard Hauptmann is considered as the first case that sparked not only national but international interest as well (Freedman, 1988; Goldfarb, 1998). The injured party was no less than aviator hero Charles Lindbergh, famed worldwide for his solo trans-Atlantic flight, and his wife, socialite and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Their first child was kidnapped, presumably for ransom, from their New Jersey mansion. However, months later, the child was found dead. Based on what experts consider flimsy evidence, Hauptmann, a carpenter and German immigrant, was charged following manhunt that took nearly two years and tracked down by the American public (Hixson, 2001). At the moment Hauptmann was arrested, the first newspaper headline had all but convicted the German immigrant: "Lindbergh Kidnapper Jailed."

The celebrity status of the plaintiffs as well as the notoriety of the "baby killing" secured unprecedented media coverage for the case. An international media sensation that spiraled out of control ensued. The Hauptmann trial was proclaimed "the biggest story since the Resurrection," by editor H.L. Mencken (Alexander, 1991; Thaler, 1994). All things considered, it indeed was the trial of the century. Public clamor on the case was very high, a fact that the presiding judge, Thomas W. Trenchard, responded to by utilizing audiovisual technology to display the courtroom proceedings in an effort satisfy the interest of the public. Trenchard allowed the presence of a camera positioned overlooking the witness stand and the jury. There was also a silent camera installed in the courtroom balcony. Anticipating probable excesses from the press in their coverage of the case, ground rules were laid down by Trenchard to manage the press people covering the trial (Cohn & Dow, 1998). Filming was allowed only during the recess periods. During this period, newsreels had already become a fixture in American theatres. Five newsreel companies covered the trial and were allowed to film only on three periods during the trial session - before the sessions begins, during noon recess, and after the court adjourned (Alexander, 1991). The newsreel companies teamed up and had one camera set up. This camera focused permanently on the witness chair and was enclosed in a box to stifle noise. Moreover, a special film that no longer required additional lighting was utilized (Linder, 2005). A remote control-operated directional microphone was secretly installed behind the jury box to capture audio from the proceedings. The testimony of some witnesses, including those of Hauptmann an Lindbergh were captured using this apparatus and distributed for viewing in theaters all over America (Constitutional Rights Foundation, 2009) and as far as Berlin, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, and Paris (Geis & Bienen, 1998). To buttress information the public gathered from the newsreel cameras, Trenchard authorized four photographers to take pictures with limitations.

Trial coverage

Managing the swarm of press people, sightseers, and observers who were present during the trial became too difficult a task. The trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann took place in a small Flemington, New Jersey courtroom on January 2, 1935. In a courtroom that could comfortably house only eighty people, two hundred people were cramped inside. It was the first trial to be broadcast live and around forty-five telegraph lines were used and a mammoth crowd of press people and observers queued in order to become involved in undoubtedly the most sensational trial of its time (Levenson, 2000).

Martin (1999) accounts over 141 reporters, 125 telegraph reports, and 20 messengers in attendance. Other sources count 300 or so reporters covering the trial (Kennedy, 1996; Jones, 1997). A crowd numbering 20,000 a day gathered outside the courtroom in anticipation. By January 6, 1935, the crowd reached sixty thousand people (Geis & Bienen, 1998). A fixated public was given the chance to get a feel of the "the most sensational American murder trial of the century" from their radio sets and movie theaters (Roschwalb, 2004). Reporters filed more than 10,000,000 words and foreign correspondents spoke to the international audience via post, radio, and cable (Kennedy, 1996). In addition to radio broadcasters commenting on the developments of the case, new commentators discussed and debated on several aspects of the trial. The frequency and scope of correspondence was so immense that the telephone company built a system that could cater to the needs of one million people, creating inside empty rooms within the courthouse a "cat's cradle of wires" (Lee & Abriola, 2001).

The jury was not protected from the ruckus. Although members of the jury were sequestered on the uppermost floor of the Union Hotel, they could not escape exposure to prejudicial comments and actions coming from the media and the public who held "the universal belief of Hauptmann's guilt" (Linder, 2005). Broadcasters reporting and commenting on the developments of the trial were headquartered on the floor directly below and outside the jurors' rooms, the enduring shouts of "Kill the German" and "Burn Bruno Burn" from the people in the streets could be heard.

Outside the courthouse, a carnival of sorts was in operation. Almost every aspect of the kidnapping case was for up for sale. Toy replicas of the ladder used for the kidnap, courthouse-shaped bookends, fake autographs of Lindbergh, and even hair from the kidnapped baby were sold as souvenirs. Courtroom tickets were even sold at a price. Even the menu in the local diner was fashioned after the trial, such as a sandwich called "Trial Lunch," "Lindbergh steak," "Press custard," and "Writer's cramp soup" (Lee & Labriola, 2001). A bar room ditty was even composed entitled "Do Schoene Hauptmann Trial" (Geis & Bienen, 1998). As the jury undertook its deliberations, the crowd gathered outside shouted: "Kill Hauptmann! Kill the German" (Cohn & Dow, 1998). During the actual proceedings, the noise and disturbances coming from trial spectators prompted Trenchard to throw out courtroom spectators. Despite efforts to maintain order in his courtroom - banning typewriters - the media found ways to smuggle handwritten news copy to telegraph wire operators located in the courthouse attic. Judge Trenchard attempted several times to prevent spectators from laughing, giggling, or applauding during the sessions (Kielbowicz, 1999).

Banning cameras out of the courtroom

Accounts of the six-week trial highlight the excesses and unprofessional conduct of media representative and courtroom spectators. The ground rules that had previously been instituted to govern the conduct of the press who covered the trial were violated. A photographer snapped a picture of Col. Lindbergh while he was testifying. Hauptmann's picture was taken when the verdict was rendered (Hixson, 2001).

Hoyt (1987) discussed one of the fundamental errors of press coverage of the trial:

The taking of photographs in the courtroom during sessions of the court proceedings, are calculated to detract from the essential dignity of the proceedings, degrade the court, and create misconceptions with respect thereto in the mind of the public, and should not be permitted. (p. 136)

However, it was not exclusively the media which was blamed for the excesses. Critics assign blame to the courtroom spectators and the public itself (Martin, 1999). Courtroom transcripts show that during the second day of the trial, the courtroom was unruly and those who watched the trial laughed and giggled. The conduct of the spectators prompted this warning from the judge: "Unless it is stopped, I shall have the courtroom cleared." The noise of the courtroom affected the proceedings so much so that the judge has to request for the questions to be repeated. Barber (1987) documents that on the dates of January 7, 9, 18, 21, 24, and 28, the courtroom was filled with laughter and applause, and the "rowdy atmosphere reigned throughout the trial" (p. 6).

The unprofessional behavior of the courtroom participants - media people and spectators alike - lacked the respect for decorum and good taste. As a result, the American Bar Association came out with Canon 35 of the Canons of Professional and Judicial Ethics, forced cameras out of the courtroom (Goldfarb, 1998). It provided:

Proceedings in court should be conducted with the fitting dignity and decorum. The taking of photographs in the courtroom, during session of the court or recesses between sessions, and the broadcasting of court proceedings are calculated to detract from the essential dignity of the proceedings, degrade the court and create misconceptions with respect thereto in the mind of the public and should not be permitted. (p. 188)

The Hauptmann trial forced the judiciary to take action and come up with a specific set of rules governing highly publicized courtroom cases. Canon 35 effectively prohibited still photography during proceedings and disallowed the broadcast of trials (Nasheri, 2002). With the exception of two states - Colorado and Texas - all states eventually adopted the ban recommended by the ABA.

4. Sam Sheppard (1954): A Case of Prejudicial Publicity

The principle of presumed prejudice peaked in the notorious 1954 trial of Sam Sheppard. The case, which like Hauptmann's deserved to be described as the "Trial of the Century", arose when Dr. Samuel Sheppard was charged for the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, Marilyn, at their home in Cleveland, Ohio (Sheppard vs. Maxwell, 1966). Since day one, the investigation focused solely on Dr. Sheppard. Despite the injuries he sustained and his persistent statements that a "bushy-haired man" had committed the crime and protestations of innocence, no other suspect had been considered at the outset (Hardaway & Tumminello, 1996). The police, the prosecutor, and the press were already convinced of Sheppard's guilt before his indictment. Biased accounts and reports of the press influenced the jury, who were exposed to publicity incriminating Sheppard before the trial began. Unsurprisingly, the same jury delivered a verdict of guilty, but later overturned by the Supreme Court in 1966 on the ground that the defendant failed to be subject to a fair trial because of prejudicial publicity. Today, the Sheppard trial (hereafter Sheppard) remains one of the clearest illustrations of the U.S. judicial system's failure to secure a fair trial for a person suspected of murder (Hixson, 2001; Goldfarb, 1998). Although blame was partially attributed to the media, the Supreme Court decided that the presiding judge failed to employ the prerogatives available to him to deflect prejudicial publicity and prevent the miscarriage of justice (Levenson, 2000).

Flagrant prejudicial publicity

Central to the free press-fair trial conflict has been the question of prejudicial publicity, defined by Connors (1975) as "any publicity which reasonably calculated to prevent an accused from having a fair trial under the constitution" (p. 8). Prior to the trial of Dr. Sheppard, the conduct of the media had already become clearly prejudicial against the accused. By prejudicial, we mean that the press had already published material that "influences the opinion of the reader - particularly as to the guilt of the accused" (LeWine, 1974).

Observations on Sheppard uniformly point to the prejudicial nature of publicity it obtained, particularly against the accused. The Supreme Court clearly illustrated this in its opinion of how media coverage proved prejudicial against the accused prior to and during the trial. In Shepard v. Maxwell, the Court opined:

Murder and mystery, society, sex and suspense were combined in this case in such a manner as to intrigue and captivate the public fancy to a degree perhaps unparalleled in recent annals. Throughout the pre-indictment investigation, the subsequent legal skirmishes and the nine-week trial, circulation-conscious editors catered to the insatiable interest of the American public in the bizarre... In this atmosphere of a "Roman holiday" for the news media, Sam Sheppard stood trial for his life (384 U.S. 333).

The Court ruled that publicity surrounding Sheppard's prosecution was "massive" and "pervasive" and thus hindered the latter from obtaining a fair trial required within the purview of the Due Process rights provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. Before Sheppard could be charged for murder, the local law enforcement had already concluded that Sheppard was guilty, a conclusion quickly embraced and exploited by the press (Kane, 1986). The print media launched an editorial assault against the accused running sensationalist headlines that allude of Sheppard's guilt. When Sheppard refused to take a lie detector test, the front pages cried incompetence on law enforcement and pointed to "friendships, relationships, hired lawyers, a husband who ought to have been subjected instantly to the same third-degree to which any other person under similar circumstances is subjected . . . " (Kane, 1986, p. 314). The editorial artillery clearly wanted to influence progress on the case, but did so in a manner that tended to incriminate the accused. After almost two weeks of unproductive interrogations, Louis Seltzer, editor of The Press wrote on July 20 an editorial headlined "Getting Away With Murder," suggesting that the police was caving in to the suspect's prominence and social status. Other local papers, The News and the Plain Dealer followed suit and made similar allegations and urged for Sheppard's arrest (Kane, 1986). On July 21, Seltzer wrote an editorial urging for an inquest, "Why no Inquest? Do It Now, Dr. Gerber," which prompted the coroner, Dr. Sam Gerber, to hold an inquest that very day. The inquest lasted for three days and was held at a high school gymnasium. Several hundred spectators came to witness Sheppard being questioned for around five and one-half hours regarding his whereabouts on the time of the murder, his personal relationship with his wife, and even his extramarital affair with one Susan Hayes. The proceedings were televised live and covered by a swarm of photographers and reporters. After ceaseless protests from Sheppard's attorneys on the irregularity of the proceedings, they were thrown out of the venue by the Coroner who afterwards "received cheers, hugs, and kisses from ladies in the audience" (Kane, 1986). Based partially on the findings from the hearing, Sheppard was eventually indicted for murder and arrested on July 30. The role of the media in influencing Sheppard's indictment was undeniable. Shortly after the inquest, a live radio show aired a debate focused on this proposition: "Which newspaper deserves the most credit for the indictment of Dr. Sheppard?" (Neff, 2001, p. 127).

During the trial, prejudicial publicity remained pervasive. Newspapers and television stations either printed or broadcast inaccuracies or material that had never come out of the testimonies of witnesses. Some examples include insinuating that Sheppard's lack of cooperation with the police as well as the act of hiring a prominent defense lawyer validates his guilt; that Sheppard perjured himself; that the accused was a Lothario; his late wife's depiction of him as a "Jekyll-Hyde personality"; that Sheppard was a "bare-faced liar"; that the accused was a social menace; and that Sheppard fathered an illegitimate child with a woman convict. Coverage of the trial proceeded against the accused, and newspapers devoted more attention to material and statements pinning the accused and derived inferences that were generally uncalled-for.

Although the media could not escape blame for a clear miscarriage of justice, whatever abuses the press committed was "judicially encouraged." The deluge of prejudicial publicity, the Supreme Court noted, was within the trial court's power and jurisdiction to control but the proceedings of the case were influenced by the bias of the trial judge, who allegedly told reporter Dorothy Killgallen, "It's an open and shut case . . . he is guilty as hell" (White, 2005). Had the trial judge taken vigilant steps to prevent the media from bombarding the jury with inflammatory material suggesting that Sheppard was guilty, then a fair trial would have been given the accused.

Presiding the trial court was Judge Blythin, who along with the prosecutor of the case, Chief Mahon, were up for election to judgeships (Sanders, 1964). This political climate undoubtedly caused the permissive and lenient treatment provided to the media covering the trial. In fact, the trial judge proved too accommodating that he reserved majority of the courtroom seats for the press, who were given permission to utilize every room on the courtroom floor so that they can broadcast news for the entire duration of the trial. A table running the width of courtroom inside the bar railing was set up to accommodate the media covering the trial (Sheppard v. Maxwell, 1966).

What transpired inside this Cleveland courtroom from October 18 to December 21, 1954 was a media circus (Pollack, 1972). A swarm of reporters occupied three rows out of the four-row courtroom while the public were merely assigned seats only when they have special passes. The constant movement of reporters and photographers around and inside the courtroom became disruptive during testimonies. Reporters were photographing counsel, witnesses, and jurors, and were publishing them. Their close proximity to Sheppard and his lawyers precluded privacy of communication between the latter (Erskine, 2008). As a result of this eavesdropping, a mixture of rumor, gossip, and innuendo from attorneys on both side of the case were printed. Unsubstantiated allegations such as extrajudicial statements and inaccurate accounts of witness testimonies were reported, most of which were detrimental to Sheppard. Verbatim accounts of the proceedings including witness testimonies, objections of counsel and rulings of the judge were printed in the local daily. In the midst of this ruckus, the jury were not sequestered until about four to five days prior to deliberations. The jury read and heard most of these biased reports and were merely admonished with "suggestions" and "requests" by the judge to ignore everything but testimonies heard inside the courtroom. Protesting the carnival atmosphere of the trial, Sheppard's defense attorneys moved for a change of venue twice and were denied on both instances (McKee, 2003).

While the conduct of the media during the Sheppard trial is reproachable, the Supreme Court opined that the trial court had full power in establishing regulations and arrangements so as to ensure that the accused received the "judicial serenity and calm to which [he] was entitled" (Sheppard v. Maxwell, 1966). At the outset of the proceedings, the judge viewed incorrectly that the court was powerless in controlling publicity arising about the trial. Hence, the judge allowed the media "absolute free rein" and as a result, compromised the dignity of the court with the bedlam created by reporters and photographers going in and out of the courtroom, creating confusion and disturbance as well as ruining the privacy due the accused and his counsel (Kane, 1986). Prejudicial publicity detrimental to the rights of the accused was entirely avoidable but the judge failed to regulate and limit the actions of the media covering the trial even when it became apparent that their behavior had become disadvantageous to the accused.

An unsequestered jury

The Supreme Court ruled in Sheppard v. Maxwell that the trial court's failure to protect the jury from publicity warrants the presumption that the jury has been prejudiced. The names and addresses of the 75 prospective jurors were published in three Cleveland newspapers. As a result, prospective jurors were hounded with anonymous letters and phone calls in relation to the impending case. Jury selection commenced on October 18, 1954. During the voir dire examinations, the judge suppressed the efforts from the defense to query potential veniremen whether they have heard or read prejudicial material or comments against the accused. The jury was not sequestered and were constantly overwhelmed by the media. Sequestration came only four to five days before the jury deliberated on the case. Although the trial court insisted that majority of the jurors had sworn under oath that they had not been in any way prejudiced with what they have heard or seen in the media, the Supreme Court ruled that the pervasiveness of the publicity attending to the case after Sheppard's indictment no doubt reached some of the jury. Moreover, the trial court disregarded the privacy requirement of the jury. The jury were billeted next to a room occupied by a broadcasting station, and jurors were not prohibited to make calls during the deliberation. These arrangements exposed the jury to the taint of prejudicial publicity. Hence, an impartial jury did not try Sheppard. In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court reversed the guilty verdict and censured the trial court, opining that "every court that has considered this case, save the court that tried it, has deplored the manner in which the news media inflamed and prejudiced the public." The pretrial publicity that has enveloped the case hampered the rights of the accused to a fair trial, and the Court ordered Sheppard's case remanded for a new trial, where Sheppard was exonerated.

Lessons from the Sheppard trial

The Sheppard trial validated the court's responsibility to govern the proceedings of a criminal case vis-a-vis prejudicial publicity generated by the media. It prompted the Supreme Court to set down regulations and judicial remedies in order to prevent a repetition of such cases in the future. Among these remedies include: 1) setting rules for courtroom use by reporters; 2) continuance or postponing the case until prejudicial publicity subsides; 3) change of venue; 4) sequestration of the jury; 5) ordering a new trial if publicity threatens a defendant's due process rights after the trial has begun (Hardaway & Tumminello, 1996). Moore (2007) opines that the Court's proactive approach is significant in that it did not recommend as judicial remedy placing restrictive orders on the press, but rather, placing restrictions on "witnesses and attorneys" (p. 455).

In the eleven-page decision penned by late Associate Justice Tom Clark, the manifold intrusions and prejudice of the media were clearly detailed. The media had departed from its responsibility of being a "handmaiden of effective judicial administration" and instead became the source of passion and prejudice that the trial court evidently could not control (Sheppard v. Maxwell, 1966). Although the Court reprimanded the media and ordered the press to regulate their actions, Hengstler (2001) placed the sole burden of safeguarding the fairness of criminal proceedings on the trial judge and not on the media. The taint of prejudicial publicity arising from media coverage could be cured if steps and measures are taken to protect the judicial processes from external interference.



This section explores in-depth the free press-fair trial conflict that surrounds the debate on whether or not cameras should be allowed inside the American courtroom. In order to advance opposition to the use of cameras in the courtroom, anti-camera advocates raise the following common grounds.

The Bane of Cameras in the Courtroom

The major arguments invoked by opponents of electronic media access into the courtroom related to the proposal's detrimental impact on the right to a fair trial. Opponents also assert that opening the justice system to such wide public scrutiny undermines its integrity, offends the dignity of the judiciary in general and creates security concerns for judges who are elected officials with normally low public profiles, and the lack of a constitutional mandate legitimizing the demand for having cameras inside the courtroom.

1. Cameras in the courtroom undermines fairness.

Opponents of the televised trial argue that having cameras in the courtroom is detrimental to the fair administration of justice mainly on two grounds: prejudicial publicity and the negative effect of cameras on the trial participants. The basis for such arguments, while not empirically grounded, are reinforced by the blows the justice system suffered following the "trials of the century," the most prominent of which is the O.J. Simpson trial which is attributed not only for stifling efforts to open American courts for public scrutiny but even international courts (Mason, 2009).

Prejudicial publicity

It is a fundamental requirement in the American justice system that a case should be decided solely on the body of evidence presented to the judge and/or jury free from any outside influence of pressure. Opponents of media coverage argue, based on the conduct of some of the most high profile cases, the O.J. Simpson case most notably, that the media coverage of a trial endangers the fair administration of justice because of the risk of prejudicial publicity (Thaler, 1994; Collins, 2007). Having prejudicial publicity taint the fairness of a trial defeats the cause of justice.

Critique of the televised trial in relation to the fair administration of justice is essentially a critique of the media in general, with accusations that profit-driven media will sensationalize at the opportune moment in order to get sky-high ratings for television or increase in circulation for print. To opponents, that both the print and television media will resort to "infotainment" or capitalize on the prurient interest every time a case has the makings of a "trial of the century" is inevitable. Essentially, anti-camera advocates conclude that the fairness of a trial is the least of the media's problems.

The negative U.S. experience of covering high-profile cases as in Hauptmann or Sheppard is always invoked to justify the claims of prejudicial publicity to debunk the case for cameras in the courtroom. They argue that the presence of the media tends to create a "circus atmosphere" and the coverage of court proceedings are often skewed, if not, false accounts of what actually happened inside the courtroom (Fox, Sickel, & Steiger, 2007). Legal commentaries and "sidebits" that either incriminate or exonerate the accused are offered by TV networks that could heighten emotions and possibly subject the accused to "tabloid justice" or the court of public opinion (Vinson & Ertter, 2002; Fox, Sickel, & Steiger, 2007).

In the earlier discussion of the Sheppard trial, what the case illustrated was that the responsibility of guaranteeing a fair trial for the accused rests on the judge's shoulders. The judge is empowered to issue protective orders in order to block media's access to information in the event the threat of prejudicial publicity is pervasive. Blaming the media for the disaster in Sheppard misses the point. The presiding judge could have and should have enforced strict guidelines to protect the proceedings from prejudicial publicity if he only had the will to do so.

Negative effect on trial participants

The core of the debate against cameras as a purveyor of prejudicial publicity is on its supposed negative impact on trial participants. It is argued that under the gaze of the camera, the judge, the attorneys, and the jury will behave differently and compromise the defendant's right to a fair trial (Sather, 1999). Critic Paul Thaler wrote in his book The Watchful Eye that the introduction of the camera into a proceeding causes acute self-consciousness. He notes even the "...attempts to use this powerful imagistic medium as an unobtrusive tool for newsgathering have been affected by the "uncertainty" principle" (1994, p. xxxvi). Self-consciousness may translate into acts of bravado or grandstanding. For instance, judges and attorneys may use the media attention for political or professional gain. As in Estes, Justice Clark opined that since judges are also "human beings... subject to the same psychological reactions as laymen... where the judge is elected... [t]he telecasting of a trial becomes a political weapon, which, along with other distractions inherent in broadcasting, diverts his attention from the task at hand - the fair trial of the accused." In the O.J. Simpson trial, the participants were allegedly "playing to the cameras," Judge Ito being too accommodating to the media, the attorneys dressing up to look good on TV, and even witnesses like Kato Kaelin allegedly came forward with his testimony to exploit whatever fame testifying could produce (Cohn & Dow, 1998). According to Simpson's Judge Ito, the camera unsettles even the trial lawyers, "When I listen to counsel argue in this courtroom, I see the nervousness in their [sic] eyes, especially with counsel that I'm familiar with... [and] that [sic] I've known for 20 years who I can tell are nervous and I can tell their performance is affected by this [the camera's] eye here" (Hyaslett, 2008, p. 176).

The cameras are also alleged to discourage witnesses from coming forward to corroborate or discredit testimony (Sather, 1999; Becker, 2000). Mindful of the camera and the publicity that their participation will naturally gain, witnesses might refrain from appearing altogether for fear of negative repercussions. A member of Simpson's "Dream Team" Barry Scheck narrates how the televised proceedings made it difficult for the defense to gather witnesses to testify, "We had great difficulty getting witnesses to come forward because they simply didn't want to be a part of this, and I think it was a very, very disturbing phenomenon" (Cohn & Dow, 1998, p. 36). At the same time, cameras can also unsettle witnesses, making them less willing to come forth or even testify at all in court. In the Steinberg case, a female witness named Marilyn Malton grew weary of the televised nature of the trial and "[t]o have the conscious awareness that all America could see her... put tremendous pressure on [her]." She is said to have been so afraid her testimony would create problems for her family that wanted to stop talking about the case (Cohn & Dow, 1998, p. 34). Justice Clark made a comprehensive argument to illustrate how the camera affects the behavior of witnesses in Estes v. Texas (381 U.S. 532):

The quality of the testimony in criminal trials will often be impaired. The impact upon a witness of the knowledge that he is being viewed by a vast audience is simply incalculable. Some may be demoralized and frightened, some cocky and given to overstatement; memories may falter, as with anyone speaking publicly, and accuracy of statement may be severely undermined. Embarrassment may impede the search for the truth, as may a natural tendency toward overdramatization. Furthermore, inquisitive strangers and "cranks" might approach witnesses on the street with jibes, advice or demands for explanation of testimony. There is little wonder that the defendant cannot "prove" the existence of such factors. Yet we all know from experience that they exist. (p. 548)

In his statement at the Senate hearing on S. 271 or the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2000, former Chief Judge Edward C. Becker of the Appellate Court of the Third Circuit, speaking on behalf of the Judicial Conference, interposed how the presence of cameras impact the behavior of trial participants in a negative manner. Citing what he called "negative statistical findings the conclusions did not account" in the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) study commissioned in 1994, Becker noted that around 30 to 40 percent of attorneys interviewed believed that cameras distract or make the witness nervous. In addition, 40 to 46 of the trial judges expressed that the presence of cameras distract the witnesses and discourage them from testifying in court (Becker, 2000).

It is argued that such effects could severely compromise the ability of jurors to assess the veracity of a witness and, in turn, could prevent the court from being able to ensure that the trial is fair and impartial. Likewise, television cameras could have a profound impact on the deliberations of a jury. The psychological pressures that jurors are already under would be unnecessarily increased by the broader exposure resulting from the broadcasting of a trial and could conceivably affect a juror's judgment to the detriment of one of the parties.

Moreover, cameras provide a very strong temptation for both attorneys and witnesses to try their cases in the court of public opinion rather than in a court of law. Allowing camera coverage would almost certainly become a potent negotiating tactic in pre-trial settlement negotiations. For example, in a high-stakes case involving millions of dollars, the sample threat that the president of a defendant corporation could be forced to testify and be cross examined, for the edification of the general public, might well be a real disincentive to the corporation's exercising its right to a public trial.

2. Having cameras inside the courtroom offends the dignity of the judiciary.

In general, the judiciary has been the most vocal opponent of allowing electronic media access into the courtroom. They argue that having the inner workings of the justice system exposed to the public through the camera lens might undermine the integrity of the court. John M. Adams, former president of the Ohio State Bar Association (as cited in Switzer, 1997) commented on how the preservation of the dignity of the court outweighs the free press argument for television access:

I feel the necessity of having a fair trial over-rides any benefit which the public might receive from cameras in the court. Our courts are in the justice business, not the entertainment business. The decorum of the court is very important (p. 5).

Responding to the clamor voiced by pro-media advocates for the judiciary to shred its "cloak of secrecy," former Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter pointedly declared, "I can tell you the day you see a camera come into our [Supreme Court] courtroom, it's going to roll over my dead body" (as cited in Bu