Throw Open the Curtains (1/12/06)
Some of you may wonder why you keep seeing the same old file footage every time we do a story on the Charles Boney murder trial.
Well, it's because Indiana law prohibits the presence of any TV cameras in state courtrooms, meaning nothing fresher is available.
This was the norm several decades ago. But for a long time now, many states - including Kentucky - have understood that the public's right to witness trial proceedings should be completely open. And in a time when either job or geography keeps most people from attending in person, it makes sense to allow TV to be their eyes and ears.
After studying the experiences of states that do allow TV cameras in the courtroom, arguments that they'll somehow intimidate trial participants or be disruptive simply don't hold much water. And they're overwhelmingly outweighed by the fact that they provide real access to matters of great community interest and also help preserve a much more complete and accurate record of the proceedings.
It can't happen in time for the Boney trial. But Indiana's lawmakers should take a long, serious look at this issue the next time they have a chance. And they should come down on the side of more access to public information - not less.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.