EDITORIAL

Criminal Trials Should Not be Broadcast on Camera Before Sentencing

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The United States Supreme Court has long forbidden cameras in its own courtroom during trial. Justices with diverse jurisprudential ideologies, from Clarence Thomas to Anthony Kennedy, equate televised sessions with an encroachment on judicial independence. The recent public broadcasting of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, and the media firestorm it has created, sheds light on the justices’ wisdom. If justice is blind, where are our blinders? Immediate access to every comment — and mistake — of attorneys, witnesses, defendants and judges leads to unfair, and often unprofessional, analysis of the facts of a case.
The public has a right to know the sentence of a trial; but it does not have a right to influence it. Juries deserve the freedom to judge impartially every case based on fact, not fantasy. Moreover, attorneys and judges, along with witnesses, must never fear that their defense of the truth will lead to “cancellation,” character assassination in the public square, or even threats to their physical well-being. Lower courts which adjudicate alleged criminals of grievous crimes should follow the praxis of the Supreme Court of the United States. Live broadcasting and television cameras have no place in a court of law.
The safeguarding of justice loses all efficacy when “transparency” leads to trepidation for those who serve the law and those bound to observe it. There exist enough kangaroo courts on television to satisfy the thirsts of the public. We don’t need any more “public access” to court proceedings, at the risk of harming the requirements of justice for all.

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