Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Cameras have been allowed in Florida courtrooms since 1979

Cameras in Fla. courts since '79

I always thought cameras were not allowed in the courtroom. How is it that Bay News 9 has the Casey Anthony trial on its channel all day, day after day, week after week?

In 1979, the Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously to allow cameras in the courtroom. The judges' opinion stated:

"We are persuaded that on balance there is more to be gained than lost by permitting electronic media coverage of judicial proceedings subject to standards for such coverage. The prime motivating consideration promoting our conclusion is this state's commitment to open government."

Praising the decision in 2009, then-Chief Justice Peggy Quince wrote:

". . . The Florida Supreme Court forged ahead and created what I would argue was and is the nation's broadest rule allowing cameras into courtrooms. With the exception of certain categories of cases, such as juvenile proceedings, cameras are permitted. Judges can exclude or limit them only if one of the parties demonstrates that the cameras will cause harm. But the standard for demonstrating such harm is high, and lawyers for the media must have an opportunity to be heard in opposition."

Not all fees covered for Anthony

Is it true that the taxpayers are having to pay the bills for Casey Anthony's defense? If so, why is she allowed to hire such high-priced lawyers?

The Orlando Sentinel reported in March 2010 that the defense for Casey Anthony, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008, had received $200,000 from ABC, $70,000 from a former attorney on the defense team, and $5,000 from an undisclosed donor.

That disclosure was made at a hearing in which the defense said that money was gone, and that the state should start paying her legal bills. Anthony's lawyers also said there were no book or movie deals in the works.

Orange County Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland ruled that Anthony was indigent, and that some of her defense would be financed by the state of Florida. State law holds that a defendant is indigent if he or she has assets of less than $2,500, excluding the value of a home and a vehicle that's worth less than $5,000.

"All costs submitted shall be in compliance with the Ninth Judicial Circuit's caps and rates and are subject to further review," wrote Strickland, who later disqualified himself from the case and was replaced by Orange County Superior Court Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

What that means is that the state will pay expenses related to her defense, but not her private attorney's fees (several on her defense team have announced they are donating their services). Some examples of what is being covered: subpoena serving, investigations, travel, experts to interpret forensic evidence, expert witness fees and the cost of depositions.

Q&A: Cameras have been allowed in Florida courtrooms since 1979 06/19/11 [Last modified: Sunday, June 19, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Cal Foote said he was so young when his father, Adam, played in the NHL, he didn't remember their hug in the Avalanche's dressing room during the 2001 Stanley Cup celebration.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary celebration

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.