Comments about ‘In our opinion: Efforts to remove electronic devices from courtrooms should be promptly squelched’

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Published: Monday, June 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 13 2014 3:02 p.m. MDT

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humbug
Syracuse/Davis, UT

Cameras in divorce court cases should be banned. Otherwise, Lawyers can study the tapes and learn that biases a judge has. The lawyers then prepare a case and say things which will influence a judge according to their biases. In divorce situations, there is little of "truth" in most cases and much of "who can afford the best attorney" and "which attorney knows what to say to the judge to get the desired results." Cameras make this easier to happen. It is wrong. Cameras should be banned in divorce courts.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Cameras are a bad idea in a courtroom. Period. No problem with attendance and release of transcripts for maximum transparency. But the cameras simply make a high profile case into a lurid spectacle.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

Without a clearer recitation of the safeguards, the reader has only your conclusory opinion that they are sufficient. For a publication which frequently emphasizes family values, this editorial is inconsistent.

Family law cases are either about the catastrophic failure of, or (on the happier side) the judicial formation of family. Except in the matter of felony convictions, I fail to see where the public's prurient interest trumps the need for privacy so the victims of abuse or family disruption can have a chance to heal and live their new lives in peace?

Recordings are forever. Ask yourselves, if even the NSA couldn't protect their top-secret electronic data, how could some child's custody hearing be kept confidential for a lifetime if there are potentially salacious recordings around that some tabloid, or social values lobbying group, might covet?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

A court is a public place. A court allows spectators. There is absolutely no reason to ban cameras and recording devices in court. It is a public place. If sensitive matters have to be handled, they can be handled in the judge's chambers, which is a private place.

It's ridiculous to think that banning cameras and recording devices from a public place would keep the proceedings private. Any person attending a trial would divulge anything about the proceedings, whether that person had a camera and recording device or not.

mrd00d
American Fork, UT

I am Brian N. Godfrey, the President of the Father's Rights of Utah. I also happen to be the Editor in Chief for YouTube channel, Utah Justice TV. This rule is very crucial to freedom of Press. If anyone wonders about privacy concerns, please understand that in the requests that have been sent willingness to blot out faces, names or ANY sensitive information is something we are willing to do. (I know because I have sent some requests that have also been denied for reasons that are nothing short of preposterous) have included saying 'The person doing the recording was not specified' when both myself and Eric Johnson of Utah Family Law TV were both on the request. We have also been told that 'informing and educating the public' is not actually news.

children
slc, UT

Hiding the truth is the basis of not allowing news media access to the court proceedings. The legal system is self governing as such it is required for all members of the Bar to report any misconduct or illegal witnessed by any bar member. This is required and oath is sworn by each bar member that they will report to the proper authority any crime or misconduct for which they witness. this rule is key to any self governing body for it to function correctly. When this rule is not fallowed you have a system of law that is open to corruption and dysfunction as we see if family law where lies are ignored and constitutional parental rights are violated. In short complete breakdown of law and ethics. Children are the losers and video is hope for transparency we all deserve.

children
slc, UT

Humbug has it all wrong with the exception of biases in court. One of the best reasons for video taping is so these biases are discovered. If commissioners, judges and attorneys are being videotaped then they will be more inclined to fallow the law and if they don't fallow the law it can help hold them responsible for their misconduct. What we all expect from the law is justice and misconduct is not justice. As it is today it takes massive amounts of evidence to oust a Judge or Commissioner for misconduct. I would like to know that our legal system is going to work instead of being one of turning a blind eye as happens far more then most the public is aware of. Remember law is a self governing body of government as such it is open for corruption from within and we the people deserve to know justice is just. If the court does not want cameras in court then the public should have the right and needs to be an oversight committee.

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