Video cameras and audio recording devices will be allowed in some Cook County courtrooms beginning January, 2015 month, Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans announced this week. Cook County joins about 40 other Illinois Counties which allow video of court proceedings.
The pilot program will apply to some felony courtrooms at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, at 26th St. and California St. in Chicago. The Illinois Supreme Court previously approved the use of cameras in trial courtrooms as a way of making legal proceedings more transparent.
Under the program, video coverage will be prohibited in juvenile, divorce, adoption, child custody, evidence suppression and trade secret cases. Additionally, in the case of a sexual abuse prosecution, coverage of the accuser’s testimony is prohibited without his or her consent.
Judge Evans welcomed the pilot program, saying in a prepared statement “I am extremely pleased that the public will now hear and see through extended media coverage, exactly what is taking place in Cook County courtrooms.”