Drew Peterson trial coming soon to your living room? Illinois finally to allow cameras in the courtroom

It’s not a sure thing but today’s decision to allow cameras in trial courts in Illinois on an experimental basis has the hearts of trial-junkie couch-potatoes thumping.

A press release from the State of Illinois states that “the Supreme Court has approved a policy for a pilot project to allow news cameras and electronic news recording in Illinois trial courtrooms for the first time.”

“This is another step to bring more transparency and more accountability to the Illinois court system,” said Chief Justice Kilbride. “The provisions of this new policy keep discretion in the chief circuit judge and the trial judge to assure that a fair and impartial trial is not compromised, yet affords a closer look at the workings of our court system to the public through the eyes of the electronic news media and news photographers…

…Until now, Illinois has been one of only 14 states where cameras in trial courtrooms were either dis-allowed or allowed on such a restrictive basis that they were hardly utilized.

The policy is effective immediately and invites the Circuit Courts in the state to apply for approval from the Supreme Court to take part in the experimental program. So, if we are to see media coverage of Drew Peterson’s upcoming trial for murder, Will County will need to apply to participate.

No more than two video cameras and two still cameras will be allowed so media pooling is encouraged.

In the case of a media member promising coverage of a proceeding from beginning to end, that member of the media shall receive priority consideration for placing its equipment in the courtroom. If the media cannot agree among themselves on the pooling arrangements, extended media coverage will be disallowed.

In other words, news media will need to play nice and share or it’s no go.

And heads up, Joel Brodksy. No more naps in the courtroom!

Pilot Project for Cameras in Courtroom

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22 thoughts on “Drew Peterson trial coming soon to your living room? Illinois finally to allow cameras in the courtroom

  1. Just makes me want to give extra props to Rescue for getting up early and dragging her butt to the Hearsay Hearings two years ago so we could get her first-hand reports. I never did make it…

  2. When I watched some of the feeds from the Casey Anthony trial, one camera was fixed to her, and the other was on the witness. I assume that’s what the two-camera set-up would be here.

    Once you do get involved in watching these high profile trials, it’s hard to tear away. It all started back with the OJ Simpson trial, remember? There always does seem to be another gripping trial to come along…

  3. The MJ trial could get ponderous with all the medical jargon, but even if I wasn’t watching, I usually had it on in the background while I did other things.

    If Drew’s trial is televised I seriously think I am going to be losing a big chunk of my life to it.

  4. I agree about the Peterson trial, especially with us being so involved for these years. I would think that it’ll be covered by TruTV, since it’s a national sensation for various reasons.

  5. Nice! Maybe we will even get to see Brodsky snoozing during court again! Or even funnier, chaining himself to the table or chairs!! 🙂 Oh what a circus!!!

    Justice will have the last laugh!! Peace will come for Kathleen Savio, Stacy Peterson, their Family, and friends! The truth has caught up to him and a price to pay is coming soon for all that he has done!

  6. When should we expect DP to go on trial? Will it be spring or summer? or fall for that matter. I am thinking this is an election year for Jim Glasgow. I would think, the trial would begin in spring-summer, to keep this fresh in the minds of the voters.

  7. Good morning, Irish. I don’t think anyone can predict that. Peterson’s attorney has said they’re expecting the trial to move forward in the Spring. That would mean that the Appellate Court should be ruling soon, and the attorneys would then need some weeks to prepare. That’s also assuming there’s not yet another appeal from either side after the Appellate Court makes its ruling on the hearsay issue. That would take it into the Fall, I would think.

    Still, I think the Appellate Court’s ruling should be coming soon, and we should know then what the attorneys on both sides will do next.

    Or not?????

  8. I just keeping flashing back to when it took the Appellate Court six months before hearing the oral arguments on the evidence appeal. Then it took them five months to rule. Then three months between the appeal to the Supreme Court and their decision.

    It’s been abut two months since the Supreme Court ordered the Appellate Court to consider the eight appealed statements on their merits. I’m guessing we’ve got at least another month to wait until they do…

    Justice is not swift.

  9. Well one thing is for sure, if it’s on the tube, I will be a watching. And use the DVR when I can’t. I have plenty of time to figure out the DVR.

  10. Hi! I literally just found your blog and had not heard any of the Peterson family’s thoughts on the movie until I came here. I’d blogged about it after watching it. As a survivor of officer-involved domestic violence, I found that yes, it was a Lifetime movie, but it had a number of valid points about the methods miscreants like Peterson use to abuse their victims. They are true regardless of how much the script resembled reality. I don’t think I’ll watch this trial but will follow it. Thanks for keeping everyone up to date on this! What a great idea.

  11. Thanks! I’ve been through it more than once and am thankful to still be here to advocate for other survivors. The same article should be posted on the Time’s Up crime victims advocacy blog soon. Neil Schori is also a contributor to that blog, but I’ve never talked to him about this. I’ve wondered if he’s going to write about it too– don’t know.

  12. Watching some old video clips tonight. I was kind of shocked anew to see the things that Peterson said in interviews.

    For instance, Peterson admits the he “rushed into both marriages” (Stacy and Kathleen) and when the interviewer asks why he responds (about himself)”…you’re a lonely man and you want a wife…”

    For heavens sake! He was married at the times he met both Stacy and Kathleen. He had a wife! Just how “lonely” was this married man?

    BTW, this is the kind of media saturation that Drew was allowed to do for close to two years, free rein to tell his side of the story to his heart’s content. Who was going to refute it. Stacy? Kathleen? He could tell the world that they were emotionally unstable, that Stacy struck him, that Kathleen was a ‘hellcat’. That he was just a lonely man, too prone to romantic attachments with young “exciting” women.

    I can’t believe that his lawyer thinks they’ve got grounds for complaining about the Lifetime movie telling a different side of the story after what they did.


  13. BTW, Joel has been doing the interview circuit claiming that both Stacy and Kathleen’s families “join him” in believing the movie to be an inaccurate portrayal of events.

    First off, I don’t think either family would agree that they join him in any fashion.

    Stacy’s family did go public saying that the film was inaccurate. Where was the statement from the Savios? I haven’t seen a thing from them except from Sue who said that she had no intention of watching the film. If I just missed it please someone show me their statement. Because otherwise, Joel is just lying…again.

    But the point is…what? Tonight he spouted off about how inaccurate the Lifetime movie was to Jane Velez-Mitchell and she asked him what I’ve been wanting to ask, “So…you don’t have a problem with it?” He didn’t really answer the question. Exactly what is his concern? Maybe he doesn’t know, himself.

  14. Yeah, it makes me want to scream that Brodsky starts off his interviews with his line that the victims’ families agree with him.

    But, no problem, IMO. 5.8 million people watched the first airing of that movie, and thousands went on the Internet to get information and facts. Brodsky has a lot of numbers to catch up to.

    I would also assume that while he and/or the other defense members are going to be questioning the jurors about whether they watched the movie, the prosecutors are going to ask the jurors if they remember the win-a-date-with-Drew, the GMA interviews, Hoda Kotb of Dateline interview, the Martin Bashir interview, the Larry King interview. (BTW, Bashir had been subpoenaed over his January 2009 interview with Peterson, during which Peterson made comments that allegedly contradicted statements he had given law-enforcement officials.)

    Actually, I believe the prosecutors have a video collage of high points they’d like to share with the jury. Even Attorneys Lopez and Greenberg are worried about what Peterson and Brodsky did pre-trial.

  15. Hmm. Could it be that he’s not aware of the fact that high profile, real-life trials have been captured by cameras for years? OJ Simpson; William Kennedy Smith; Michael Jackson; Casey Anthony, to name a few. Nationally televised. Court TV and now TruTV. I think if this man doesn’t have anything useful to say, he should just STFU. We seem to be more educated about what’s available to the public via televised court trials than he is.

    While many trial proceedings seem mundane, several high-profile trials are approaching, including the murder case against former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson. A TV movie based on the case aired last week.

    “I’ve always believed there should be coverage of trials,” said Joel Brodsky, who represents Peterson, charged with first-degree murder in the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacey Peterson.

    Courtroom cameras will educate the public, whose perceptions of what happens during criminal trials is colored by shows like “CSI” and made-for-TV movies that “have no resemblance to reality,” Brodsky said.

    “The public will gain a great deal of knowledge of what really goes on in the criminal justice system,” Brodsky said.

    Staff writer Tony Gordon contributed to this report.


  16. Remember the scene in the movie where Drew threw Stacy across the room in anger????

    While the movie is getting a lot of criticism for various reasons, many, many events portrayed in that movie can be found in the public. The events may have been embellished and/or out of sequence, but that movie is based on many real occurrences.

    Heh, for example, DP appeared on Larry King Live. That was portrayed in the movie. What was obviously left out was his mouthpiece, Brodsky, sitting right next to him. Still, it was a factual event, but not as we remember it. DP may have made statements on LKL that were used somewhere else in the movie. Still, he said it, it’s on tape, and it’s out there.

    Stacy Peterson’s Family Speaks Out During Search
    Drew Peterson’s Chat With Larry King Upsets Stacy’s Family

    Reporting Mike Puccinelli

    BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (CBS) ― The family of Stacy Peterson is outraged by a TV interview with her husband, Drew Peterson. During a search Saturday, they called his comments on “Larry King Live” a bunch of lies.

    CBS 2’s West Suburban bureau chief Mike Puccinelli reports on the family’s reaction….

    “Drew and Mr. Brodsky’s appearances in the spotlight is only for profit in the future,” said family spokesperson Pamela Bosco. “Notoriety to be built upon, so that in the future there might be possible book deals.”

    They say the former Bolingbrook sergeant and named suspect in his wife’s disappearance, used his appearance on “Larry King Live” to lie about Stacy Peterson and his past.

    “I kind of challenge anybody out there to find anybody that has ever seen me mad,” Drew Peterson said on King’s show.

    Cassandra Cales accepted that challenge today.

    “I have seen him, personally, throw my sister across the room,” she said.

    And Cales says just last week the former police sergeant unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against her after she spoke with Stacy’s young son outside the home.

    “He was red and he was screaming,” Cales said. “If that’s not mad, I don’t know what is.”

    Peterson also denied that he’d ever been physical with any of his wives including Kathleen Savio, who two pathologists have said was murdered in a bathtub.

    (Direct link to CBS report unavailable)

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