In some countries, some criminal trials in law courts are shown on television so the general public can watch them. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
In recent years, there has been a considerable rise in broadcasting court hearings on TV. Though there are a number of advantages to this trend, I believe that the drawbacks are just as significant.
Firstly, an advantage of filming criminal trials is so the public can see justice being done. Secondly, it can also raise awareness showing citizens that they will not get away with breaking the law and shows them the sentencing tariffs. As a result, crime rates can be reduced for the benefit of society. For example, in the United States there was a decline in youth crime which was attributed to the televising of the law courts. Consequently, the success of these televised trials has led other countries to consider allowing cameras into their own court rooms for the first time.
However, there are considerable drawbacks to allowing cameras into the courthouse. Clearly, one potential issue is the defendant may not get a fair trial if public and media pressure influences the outcome. Furthermore, the jury needs to able to weigh the facts and decide the future of the offender independently of any media pressure to enable a fair trial. Additionally, criminals might want extensive media coverage turning them into celebrities thus creating a situation where people commit crime just for their 15 minutes of fame. Therefore, I would argue for checks and balances in any future televised court trials.
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