Attorneys and Judges Debate About Cameras in Courtroom
Attorneys and judges from the D.C. courts had a debate on Wednesday over the role of cameras in the courtroom. The D.C. courts do not permit cameras in the courtroom just like the federal trial courts. Judges Royce Lamberth and Jose Lopez said the resistance to taped proceedings came from a fear of witnesses feeling intimidated and refusing to testify. They said this was especially true in criminal cases. The city's top prosecutor, Ronald Machen Jr. agreed, saying that the cameras would have a “chilling effect”.
Fred D'Ambrosi, from local news channel WUSA, said that the success of state courts in allowing cameras should make the D.C. courts rethink their stand. The panel was organized by the Council for Court Excellence as part of its series of legal affairs and media coverage of courts.