Courts and the Media

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Most of the people attending a public meeting were against the idea
of bringing cameras of any kind into the courtroom, for a variety of reasons.

A fear that juries would be tainted to the fear that victims and witnesses would be afraid to appear in front of cameras, many of those in attendance expressed concern.

"We need to be careful, because the people who come in here want justice, and that's what they deserve, not a media show," said 10th Circuit Court Judge Larry Roberts.

"We need to first be concerned with the litigants in this courtroom,"
said attorney Dan Self.

However, not everyone at the meeting thought cameras are a bad idea.

"We need to find some way to show the public that this court is not like the Judge Judy's of the world," said attorney Bill ready, Jr.

The committee is chaired by Supreme Court Justice James Graves, an advocate of cameras in the court. He said the committee will take all opinions into consideration.

"People who are not necessarily opposed to the idea of cameras in the courtroom do want to have some restrictions on the kinds of things that can be shown or the kinds of cases, and that's understandable," said Justice Graves.

This is the last informational meeting the committee will hold. Its next meeting will be try to draft a set of recommendations to give to the
Mississippi Supreme Court, hopefully by the end of 2002.