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Judge Bars Broadcast Devices in Sniper Courtroom

Judge Bars Broadcast Devices in Sniper Courtroom

The judge in the trial of accused sniper John Muhammad denied RTNDA’s request that cameras and microphones be allowed in the courtroom. Judge Leroy Francis Millette Jr. of the Prince William County Circuit Court in Manassas, Va., said the need for a fair trial is paramount, and that witnesses, jurors and lawyers may be intimidated by the presence of broadcast equipment. RTNDA had asked the court to open up pre-trial and trial proceedings to audiovisual coverage by radio and TV.
“We are very disappointed in the judge’s decision,” says Barbara Cochran, RTNDA president. “Citizens in the Washington area felt personally affected by the sniper case and deserve to see for themselves how justice is served. It is unfortunate that the most neutral and accurate means of presenting the trial has been banned.”