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Letter: Cameras not always appropriate in court

Published: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Your view is that cameras should be allowed in court. My view is that circumstances alter cases. At present only the judge needs to approve cameras. But the accused, accuser, jury members, and witnesses should also have a choice, as their safety and welfare is at stake.

Two judges recently did not allow cameras in court because, they said, it could interfere with the defendants’ right to a fair trial. A “perp walk” on TV also could adversely affect the accused’s job, family, and community status. Equal justice requires that all interested parties in any legal procedure have a choice of whether or not they appear on camera.

With or without cameras, our criminal justice system is separate and unequal. According to Jimmy Carter’s Our Endangered Values, 76 percent of the people on death row are minorities, and minorities are disproportionately poor. 

Equal justice under law requires that the poor, like the wealthy, have a choice of attorney.  This can be accomplished by giving vouchers to those who can’t afford an attorney, or by direct payments to the provider, as is done for medical care. 

Rosemarie Slavenas

Sycamore

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