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Cook County Chief Judge Supports New Cams/Mics Program

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans offered this enthusiastic support of the Supreme Court's new initiative:

“I regard the new policy on extended media coverage in the courtroom as a positive change in the right direction for Illinois courts and have supported it in the past, most recently in a speech before the City Club of Chicago in June 2010.

“Allowing media to have cameras and recording devices in the courtroom will give the public a better idea of what goes on in their courtrooms, and they will understand that what they see on television court shows is not a true picture of how judges do justice.

“I will apply to the Illinois Supreme Court’s pilot project to allow extended media coverage in Circuit Court of Cook County courtrooms. I also expect to appoint an advisory committee to make recommendations on best practices for implementing the provisions of the Supreme Court’s policy for extended media coverage in the Illinois circuit courts. The committee will have as its members judges, attorneys, members of the media and the public.

“Just last summer, United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan expressed strong support for more openness and transparency for the third branch of government. At an Aspen Institute event, she said, ‘If everybody could see this it would make people feel so good about this branch of government and how it’s operating.’

“I certainly support Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride and the justices for adopting this approach to allowing cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms. If approved for participation in the pilot program, the Circuit Court of Cook County will enthusiastically adhere to the guidelines established by the Illinois Supreme Court.”

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