McLean County is joining 23 other Illinois counties in allowing microphones and cameras in courtrooms as part of a pilot program. The State Supreme Court has approved an application by the 11th Judicial Circuit, requesting mics and cameras be allowed in cases not involving sex offenses, divorces or juveniles. 11th Circuit Chief Judge Elizabeth Robb says members of the legal community have been meeting with media representatives for months to work out logistics.
"They actually gave information on how cameras in the courtroom worked in other states. They talked to their counterparts in other states and elsewhere in the state, so we felt pretty confident that we would be able to implement this."
Initially, the added access will only apply to McLean County courtrooms. Other counties in the circuit will monitor the program. Still photography will be allowed in all courtrooms, but audio and video recording will be limited to one room that will equipped to handle the technology. Robb says media requests for enhanced coverage must be made two weeks in advance and is subject to a hearing by the trial judge.
(Editors note: WGLT News took an active role in helping negotiate terms of the pilot program.)
(photo courtesy RTDNA)
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