Should cameras be allowed in Minnesota courtrooms?

"I think it's important for all cases, whether they be real small or a case like hers because I think the public has a right to know."

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 9:30 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2018 6:41 AM

KIMT NEWS 3 - Being able to see inside a courtroom is something some states, like Iowa, may take for granted when people watch the news.

Currently in Minnesota, a pilot program that launched in 2015 allows cameras in courtrooms in certain circumstances. The Minnesota Supreme Court is considering making that pilot program permanent.

Some community members in Rochester said being able to see what goes on inside courtrooms is important, especially when it involves high-profile cases like Lois Riess.

Riess was inside a Texas courtroom earlier this week, where she waived her extradition rights during a hearing at the Cameron County Sheriff's Office in Olmito. She's now waiting to be transferred to Florida for trial, where online documents confirm cameras are allowed in courtrooms.

Some people said they'd like to see that in Minnesota, as well. Larry Hamand, of Rochester, is one of them.

"I think it's important for all cases, whether they be real small or a case like hers," Hamand said, "because I think the public has a right to know."

Leroy Kilmer, of Rochester, sees it as a right.

"It's kind of like our freedom of speech," Kilmer said. "Our rights, a lot of those are getting taken away and stuff. That'd be something where the public can see what the courtrooms doing."

People still have their concerns.

"That the witnesses would not come forward if they felt that there was a camera in the courtroom," one Rochester woman said, "and that they would maybe, it would be harmful for them in the future, like there would be some restitution against them or whatever."

"I guess if they don't testify, I guess that would be their prerogative," Hamand said, "but I still believe they should have cameras in there."

Whether it be a small, local case or one that's captured the nation, Kilmer said being able to see what goes on in courtrooms might also carry with it valuable lessons.

"It might teach some of our youngsters what they shouldn't be doing," Kilmer said, "so they're not ending up in the courts."

The Minnesota Supreme Court held a public hearing Wednesday to decide if they should make the pilot program permanent. It would allow audio, video and still-photo coverage in proceedings after the defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, that would include sentence hearings.

Sexual assault and domestic violence cases are still prohibited, as well as statements made by victims unless they consent. Cameras still wouldn't be allowed during a criminal trial except in rare circumstances.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 63723

Reported Deaths: 1739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin20063845
Ramsey7904270
Dakota4670106
Anoka3891115
Stearns293520
Washington225548
Olmsted180923
Nobles17819
Scott166922
Mower11172
Rice10488
Blue Earth9606
Wright9395
Carver9153
Clay79540
Sherburne75810
Kandiyohi7251
St. Louis63620
Todd4312
Lyon4273
Watonwan3842
Freeborn3651
Nicollet36313
Steele3632
Benton3273
Winona27216
Beltrami2670
Crow Wing26514
McLeod2400
Le Sueur2371
Martin2125
Chisago2111
Otter Tail2094
Goodhue2089
Cottonwood1800
Becker1641
Pipestone1619
Polk1614
Waseca1571
Carlton1490
Itasca14612
Douglas1441
Unassigned14446
Isanti1410
Dodge1360
Pine1320
Murray1251
Chippewa1191
Morrison971
Wabasha970
Faribault930
Brown922
Rock890
Meeker882
Sibley862
Koochiching833
Jackson810
Cass793
Pennington751
Fillmore730
Mille Lacs733
Renville675
Lincoln610
Grant574
Swift571
Roseau530
Yellow Medicine530
Houston490
Pope480
Aitkin421
Norman400
Hubbard370
Kanabec372
Redwood370
Wilkin353
Marshall300
Wadena280
Mahnomen271
Big Stone250
Lake240
Red Lake240
Stevens220
Traverse150
Clearwater140
Lac qui Parle90
Lake of the Woods70
Cook60
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51101

Reported Deaths: 965
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10800210
Woodbury378354
Black Hawk324566
Linn250389
Johnson216521
Dallas195135
Scott180815
Buena Vista180112
Dubuque177031
Marshall147527
Pottawattamie140029
Story120315
Wapello94336
Muscatine88048
Webster8678
Crawford7433
Cerro Gordo67119
Sioux6713
Warren5972
Tama56129
Plymouth49312
Jasper49028
Wright4851
Clinton4504
Dickinson3874
Louisa37814
Washington30710
Boone2783
Franklin25912
Hamilton2561
Bremer2407
Des Moines2262
Clarke2103
Clay2101
Carroll2082
Emmet1974
Marion1930
Shelby1931
Hardin1890
Floyd1753
Jackson1671
Benton1641
Allamakee1624
Poweshiek1608
Henry1464
Mahaska14417
Guthrie1425
Lee1415
Buchanan1401
Cedar1361
Jones1362
Butler1332
Madison1302
Delaware1291
Humboldt1271
Hancock1252
Lyon1242
Pocahontas1202
Clayton1163
Harrison1161
Cherokee1101
Winnebago1080
Winneshiek1061
Kossuth1020
Page1010
Taylor1000
Iowa981
Palo Alto980
Fayette960
Mills951
Monona931
Calhoun922
Cass901
Jefferson890
Osceola880
Sac870
Grundy861
Mitchell830
Union831
Monroe758
Lucas744
Worth710
Chickasaw620
Davis622
Montgomery624
Howard550
Appanoose533
Fremont450
Greene420
Keokuk411
Van Buren391
Adair380
Ida330
Audubon301
Decatur280
Ringgold241
Wayne211
Adams170
Unassigned50
Rochester
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Mason City
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
Albert Lea
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
Austin
59° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Charles City
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Sever storm chances return for Friday night
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Marching Band makes adjustments for Covid-19

Image

Virtual Wing Ding for Democrats in Iowa

Image

Improving Relations Between Law Enforcement and Communities

Image

Gov. Walz Calls for Unity After Imam Attacked

Image

Fan challenges Rochester Honkers to a win

Image

Essential Worker Convoy

Image

Olmsted County Election Prep

Image

Move With The Mayor

Image

Princess Kay of The Milky Way Is Crowned

Image

Rochester Events Cancelled

Community Events