Will Drew Peterson trial be televised?

In Session’s pre-trial promos have been a little misleading

As of today’s date, the answer is “no”, according to Court Administrator of the Circuit Court, Drew Peterson‘s upcoming trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio will not be televised live from inside the courtroom.

Until recently, Illinois has been one of the few states that does not allow media coverage of trials from inside the courtroom. However, news cameras have been allowed in Illinois Supreme Court and the appellate court since 1983.

In January of this year, Illinois began a pilot program which allows Circuit Courts to request permission from the Illinois Supreme Court to allow television, audio and still camera media coverage in trial courtrooms. Since that time 13 counties have applied and been granted permission to take part in the program.

Last month, Chief Judge Gerald Kinney of Will County (the Twelfth Judicial Circuit) told the press that they were “considering” applying to take part but that logistically it would be difficult to clear the way for the cameras in time for the Peterson murder trial which will now begin in less than four weeks.

Judge Kinney’s caution seems to be extremely conservative since protocols for media coverage are in place all over the country and could easily be copied in Illinois.

We’ve seen rumors that CNN petitioned the court for permission to cover the trial, and the Chicago Sun-Times has run an editorial chiding the courts for being overly cautious about rolling out the cameras, but at this point in time it looks as if reporters will need to rely on their hand-written notes and the sketches of courtroom artists.

Despite the lack of cameras in the courtroom there will be plenty of national and local media coverage of the trial. InSession has been advertising their upcoming coverage, even sending Vinnie Politan to the Peterson home in Bolingbrook to whet the appetite of trial junkies.

If we hear of any change in the status of this situation we will certainly let you know. This is one trial we would really like to see.

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11 thoughts on “Will Drew Peterson trial be televised?

  1. It’s hard to believe you guys don’t have cameras at trial. With as much national publicity as this case has attracted over the years, it’s a shame the courts wouldn’t have worked this out long ago.

    A sketch artist will never be able to capture more than the essence of Peterson’s smarmy self. Video will leave no doubt. I would think that for the benefit of any appeal, video of the trial would be crucial.

  2. Drew Peterson Lawyers to Get Look at Savio Evidence After Secret Hearing

    Drew Peterson’s attorneys will get to look at material related to Kathleen Savio’s 10-year-old battery arrests.
    By Joseph Hosey

    Drew Peterson’s lawyers convinced a Will County judge to let them look at expunged battery cases brought against the former Bolingbrook cop’s slain wife.

    Defense lawyers Joseph “Shark” Lopez, Lisa Lopez and Joel Brodsky got the go-ahead from Judge Edward Burmila during a closed-door meeting Monday.

    Burmila granted the defense motion to “open two unrelated files,” and is allowing the lawyers to copy and take notes from court transcripts as well.

    Savio, who was Peterson’s third wife, was arrested twice in 2002 on misdemeanor charges for allegedly battering both her husband and his new young love—and future fourth wife—Stacy Peterson.

    Savio was found not guilty in both cases. Drew Peterson claims Savio and her attorney, Harry Smith, coerced his son Kris into lying on the witness stand. Peterson’s defense attorneys have also recently speculated that Savio perjured herself during her trials.

    After her acquittals, Savio had both cases expunged and there is no public record of either one available in the Will County Circuit Clerk’s office.

    Peterson is set to go to trial July 23 on charges he murdered Savio, who was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. The state police insisted she was the victim of a freak tub accident until fourth wife Stacy mysteriously vanished in October 2007.

    Stacy remains missing but the state police have yet to charge anyone with harming her.

    The motions granted by Burmila Monday are under seal and cannot be seen by the public. When asked about the motions and the secret hearing in Burmila’s chambers, defense attorney Joseph Lopez said he could not comment.

    Joseph Lopez, who is married to defense attorney Lisa Lopez, the latest lawyer to enter an appearance for Peterson’s defense, did discuss aspects of Savio’s arrests that have been mentioned in previous court hearings.

    “Based on what was said in open court, we’re going to see those (Savio trial) transcripts,” Lopez said. “You’re going to learn about a different Kathy from beyond the grave.”

    http://shorewood-il.patch.com/articles/drew-peterson-lawyers-to-get-look-at-savio-evidence-after-secret-hearing#photo-3528942

  3. I can not beleive that this case will not be receiving in court television coverage. Between the national interest and the new ruling of Illinois cameras in courtrooms, I am hoping the judge would reconsider his decision. In Session does a great job on covering cases wheather in court cameras or not however, this case will not be the same without the cameras. Lets face it, this case has drawn nationally, to the publicity level of Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson. This is a must see trial….More important to view the actual trial than a made for tv movie. Please reconsider your decision and let us see the facts vs the fiction.

  4. Granny I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m having flashbacks of the hearsay hearings, when we’d hear numerous erroneous versions of what happened in the courtroom and then constant revisions over the next 24-hours.

    IMO, Judge Kinney is making this out to be way more complicated than it needs to be. One camera; shared feed; transparency and accurate reporting.

  5. Lopez’s remark. Hmmm. That’s the beauty of being a defense attorney. You can muck up the waters and say whatever you damn well want, because the prosecuting attorneys never respond with their own counterpoints.

    I thought the defense was all about showing that Kathleen’s death was an accident. Now, it’s moved on from that to destroying Kathleen and making her out to be a perjurer and an abuser. Oh boy. How’s that going to fly?

  6. Great observation, Rescue. I thought the defense strategy was going to be to present a simple slip and fall in the tub. Now they want to say that Kathleen Savio was a really bad person who slipped and fell in the tub? Does that make her death more accidental? I’m kinda thinking the opposite.

    Let them drag all the crap they want into court. I’ve said it before but none of the drama involving Kathleen happened in a vacuum. Every incident involving Kathleen also involved Drew Peterson and he is the guy who is going to come out the worse for it when the jury hears the facts.

    Every time they bring up this ‘hellcat” persona of Kathleen Savio they’ll provide more motive for Drew Peterson to want her dead.

    Dear defense team, please do open the door for the state to introduce the physical and mental abuse, the stalking, and the dirty dealings of Drew Peterson. Oh, and motive.

    I can’t wait!

  7. facsimily sez:
    Every time they bring up this ‘hellcat” persona of Kathleen Savio they’ll provide more motive for Drew Peterson to want her dead.

    Exactly my thought~
    :{sniffle} Well, judge, she was a meanie to me! Is it any wonder why she died in the tub?! wah…wah…wah!”

  8. I don’t mean to be be rude to the “The Shark,” but so what if Kathleen was a hellcat? It doesn’t change the fact that she drown in a dry bathtub. Are they saying that she deserved this?

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