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INBA Lauds Open Court in Peterson Hearing

CARBONDALE- The Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) is applauding Illinois’ Third District Appellate Court for its decision to allow the public to fully observe the recent hearing of Drew Peterson.

The ruling made it possible for the hearing to be shown live on the web, a first in Illinois history. The decision, which allowed one camera to capture proceedings for a hearing in the former Bolingbrook police officer's trial for the murder of his third wife, opened new doors in INBA’s fight to allow cameras and microphones in Illinois’ trial courts.

“INBA has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to change its rules regarding cameras and microphones twice, and each time the request was rejected without comment. Hopefully, this decision will help change minds about what electronic journalists are asking for in this state,” INBA President Jennifer Fuller said. “We’re not asking for unfettered access to a court proceeding, just the ability to use the tools we need to do our jobs adequately.”

"INBA believes that court proceedings are an important, yet often misunderstood, part of the government process. Therefore, the organization hopes to eventually see these proceedings opened for citizens across the state."

Cameras and microphones are allowed, with permission of the justices, in the Appellate and Supreme Courts in Illinois. Trial courts are another issue, with a Supreme Court rule barring their use.

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Jennifer Fuller INBA President WSIU Radio