Media: Allow cameras at theater shooting trial
DENVER (AP) -- Attorneys for news organizations said there is no evidence that courtroom cameras would intimidate witnesses in the Colorado theater shooting trial or violate defendant James Holmes' rights.
In a court filing dated Tuesday and released Wednesday, the attorneys said objections raised by prosecutors and the defense to video and still photography are unfounded.
The media attorneys said cameras would give the public broader access to an important trial and improve understanding of the judicial system.
Holmes is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 8 on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. He is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, attack on a suburban Denver movie theater.
He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Six Denver television stations, a Denver radio station and a cable channel asked the judge last month to allow a single TV camera and an audio system in the courtroom during the trial.
The Denver Post, The Associated Press and others have requested to have a single still camera in the courtroom.
Images from both cameras would be shared with other news organizations.
Defense attorneys filed an objection last week, saying courtroom television would violate Holmes' right to a fair trial by making witnesses worry about public reaction if they gave testimony considered favorable to Holmes. They also said it could also expose jurors and attorneys to death threats and cause other problems.
Prosecutors also objected last week, saying courtroom cameras would subject victims who testify to unwanted and hurtful attention. They argued that television coverage could change the way trial witnesses behave.
Prosecutors said they plan to call about 70 people who survived the attack to testify, along with family members of the dead.
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