Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Notable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988 » Chandler v. Florida - Cameras In The Courtroom, Does The Constitution Forbid Televised Coverage Of Trials?, Impact, Televised Trials

Chandler v. Florida - Televised Trials

courtroom cameras simpson

The 1980s saw the rise of televised trials in state and county courtrooms, coupled with a growing national interest in law-related TV shows such as Unsolved Mysteries and America's Most Wanted. These facts led in part to the establishment in 1991 of Court TV, a commercial cable network that presents legal information in an easy-to-understand format. But the true watershed with regard to popular interest in courtroom proceedings came with the 1995 trial of O. J. Simpson for the murders of his estranged wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

To many observers, what they saw when the cameras went into the courtroom was not pleasant. "Lawyers in the O. J. trial pandered to the camera," wrote Detroit News television commentator Tim Kiska, "grieving parents wept at emotional press conferences, and an electronic `village' of countless cameras sprung up outside of the Los Angeles courthouse." When U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch kept cameras out of his courtroom during the 1997 trials of Oklahoma City bombing suspects Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, he was no doubt influenced by the Simpson example.

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