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|BREAKING NEWS: Cameras and Microphones to be Allowed in Knox County Courtrooms
|POSTED 5:07pm 12/13/12 We've told you about criminal proceedings in Knox County Circuit Court for years. Now, you'll be able to hear and see them, too.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday afternoon that Knox County will be the next county in the state allowing cameras and microphones in trial courts, as part of a pilot program referred to as "Extended Media Coverage."
In a press release, the Illinois Supreme Court says now-retired 9th Circuit Chief Judge Greg McClintock first approached the high court about the program. McClintock retired last month, and Knox County's Judge James Stewart has since taken over. Stewart said in the release, "Our judges in Knox County are eager to implement the Supreme Court policy on extended media coverage."
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride announced the program earlier this year. A Quad Cities resident, Kilbride told the Illinois News Broadcasters Association several months ago he watched media coverage of criminal trials coming from Iowa and thought a similar program could work here. Illinois is one of only a few states that still does not allow cameras and microphones in courts on a wide scale.
The first Whiteside County trial of convicted murderer Nicholas Sheley proved to be one of the first major tests of the pilot program. Sheley was convicted in Knox County in 2011, of the death of 65-year-old Ronald Randall.
The order means WGIL and other radio stations can bring you courtroom audio from criminal proceedings as long as the presiding judge approves of it. Televisions stations will also be able to air audio and video. Newspapers could provide photographs of such proceedings. All of which would come via media pools that will be set up.
WGIL is working to bring you more details and reaction to the decision.
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