Supreme Court hears pros, cons of cameras in court

The Simpson trial
The O.J. Simpson trial, which lasted for months and was often out of control, is cited by critics of cameras in courtrooms as a reason to ban them.
Pool via Getty Images

Minnesota Supreme Court justices are weighing a petition to ease rules that effectively prevent televised trials.

The high court fielded two hours of testimony from judges, lawyers, victims' advocates and a TV reporter. They also heard from two judges from states that allow broader camera access to courtrooms.

The court didn't give a timetable for action.

Minnesota's judicial rules permit TV cameras in court if the judge, prosecution and defense all sign off - something that has seldom happened since the rule was enacted in 1983.

A news media coalition says Minnesota trails 35 states in electronic media access to court proceedings. But justices heard a passionate defense of the status quo from people who fear such coverage could deter witnesses or victims from reporting some crimes.

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