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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Courts - "Courtroom sketching is starting to disappear"

"As cameras begin to proliferate at trials, courtroom artists see themselves getting the brush: 'We've been becoming extinct for a decade,' one says," is the headline to this long story today in the Chicago Tribune by Barbara Brotman. A few quotes:

Cameras are making their way into Illinois courtrooms. Twenty-four counties are participating in a pilot that the Illinois Supreme Court authorized last year permitting cameras in trial courtrooms. In December, the Illinois Supreme Court announced that McLean County has become the latest. In Cook County, Chief Judge Timothy Evans has strongly endorsed cameras in courtrooms.

The first use of cameras in a Chicago-area courtroom came Nov. 21 in DuPage County, where a photographer and a TV cameraman provided pool coverage of the arraignment of a Naperville woman accused of killing two children.

Though federal courts still prohibit cameras, and Chicago's small band of sketch artists is still working, they consider their courtroom drawing days numbered.

"We've been becoming extinct for a decade, and I would like it to slow down just a little," said Lou Chukman, a courtroom artist for 37 years. "We'll become the same curiosity as the Civil War battle artists." * * *

Courtroom sketching is "starting to disappear," said Craig Orr, associate curator in the Archives Center of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Orr recently acquired for the center 38 sketches that New York courtroom artist Marilyn Church completed at trials, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Karen Ann Quinlan right-to-die case and the racketeering and securities fraud trial of Michael Milken.

"Courtroom art captures a moment of time that is not capturable in any other way because cameras are not allowed," Orr said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 2, 2013 02:29 PM
Posted to Courts in general