YOUTH MATTERS James Warner...Justice is more important than entertainment

Here in Britain, TV cameras are banned from courtrooms. However they are allowed in other high-profile places where evidence is given, including the culture media and sport select committee, for example, as seen in the recent Rupert Murdoch/News of the World saga.

Following the shock verdict regarding the Casey Anthony trial in America, a trans-Atlantic debate has developed with regard to whether television cameras should be allowed in courts.

America openly embraces the use of this new technology, while Britain prefers to keep a safe and cautious distance from it.

So, why shouldn’t TV cameras be used during trials?

After all, any member of the public can sit in the viewing gallery in even the highest courts in Britain.

The problem is there are only so many seats for the public to sit on, so not everyone will get to see the case they want.

Therefore what is wrong with simply modernising our rights and allowing the whole country to be able to easily view from the comfort of their own armchair, what they are already allowed to go into a court and see?

The problem is that giving the public such great exposure to already controversial and delicate trials can be detrimental in a number of ways.

As witnessed by the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony cases, it builds the hype of already very public courtroom battles to a fever pitch.

Imagine the stress a prosecution lawyer and the jury must be under when more than 500 million people are demanding a guilty verdict be given.

Another problem rests with the media, which sensationalises court cases, with so-called ‘specialists’ analysing every batter of the defendant’s eyelids.

Also unjust is the complete invasion of privacy – even if the defendant is proven innocent they will always be known as ‘that one from the murder trial’.

While some believe being able to view trials is our democratic right, the presence of TV cameras in courtrooms has contributed to at least two exceptionally-dubious verdicts in America.

Ultimately to me justice is more important then a bit of extra entertainment on a Friday night.