Sheley trial first test of cameras in Ill. court
CHICAGO – The latest trial of alleged serial killer Nicholas Sheley will attract widespread interest as it gets under way in rural northwestern Illinois – and not only because of the sensational subject matter. It also is the most highly anticipated test of an ongoing experiment with cameras in Illinois courts.
Cameras aren’t allowed during jury selection, which begins today with one-on-one questioning of potential jurors; would-be panelists filled out questionnaires Friday. Cameras will start rolling during opening statements, expected next week. That’s when court officials will be watching to see if the expanded media presence in any way disrupts proceedings – the fear of some judges and attorneys.
Among those looking on will be the architect of the ambitious project, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, and the chief judge of Cook County’s court system, Timothy Evans. Evans will look to the Sheley trial for tips on how to mix cameras smoothly into trial rooms if and when the program is approved for his jurisdiction.
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