Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cameras Come to 'Mt. Rushmore State' Courtrooms

Mount Rushmore located in the Black Hills of S...Image via WikipediaThe South Dakota Supreme Court this week approved Rules 10-08 and 10-09, amending Canon 3(B)(13) of the Code of Judicial Conduct to permit cameras and electronic recording equipment in trial courts under certain circumstances, the Associated Press reports.

If the presiding judge and all parties agree to cameras in the courtroom, then hearings and trials in the state's seven circuit courts may be broadcast.  If any party opposes tv or still cameras, then the proceeding may only have audio coverage, at the judge's discretion.

The new rules, which take effect July 1, are a response by the "Mt. Rushmore State"'s high court to the legislature, which in 2009 repealed a law that barred tv and radio broadcasting and still photography in circuit courts.  In contrast, Supreme Court hearings since 2001 have permitted cameras and have been streamed live over the Internet since 2002.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson noted that juvenile proceedings and certain other court hearings would continue to exclude cameras.

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