Court TV

Cameras at the Diallo Trial: Justice or Circus?

Ana Maria Rodriguez
Age 37
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Photographer

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? I don't think it's a problem but I do think they're trying to compensate for having moved the trial to Albany.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? It's a fine line because the media's going to play it up anyway. In this case, there's a lot of justified bitterness.

Would you want cameras at your trial? I'd be willing to have them there if it's part of the trial package. There's a downside to the camera, because people judge you if you look a certain way.


Beth Dufford
Age 34
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Online product developer

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? No, because they do influence the proceedings. They also create a kind of hyper-courtroom, a trial in two parallel universes.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? People aren't going to watch the Diallo trial the way they did the O.J. Simpson trial, which took place in Brentwood, which may as well be Hollywood. The Diallo trial won't be circuslike because he wasn't rich or famous.

Would you want cameras at your trial? No, because I do believe in our justice system, even in a case that involves heightened racial issues.


Theresa Plair
Age 35
Resides Westchester County
Occupation Artist

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? No, because everything becomes sensationalized. It's not a movie.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? I'm sick of news as entertainment and the relentless coverage of meaningless topics. I resented the coverage of the O.J. trial because whether I was in Holland or Africa, all they wanted to talk about was O.J.

Would you want cameras at your trial? It would depend on the case. I'm always interested in what's happening in the African American community, but I'm either going to get a fair trial or I'm not.


Ranjia Swaris
Age 65
Resides Bronx
Occupation Retired

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? Yes, because we can follow the case better. The cameras may insure a degree of fairness; without them there's no chance.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? There's always that possibility. Marcia Clark got dressed up in different outfits and everyone watched for what she was going to wear.

Would you want cameras at your trial? Sure, but with or without cameras a black man in this country can't get a fair trial.


Felicia Ford
Age 32
Resides Bronx
Occupation Personal assistant

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? I'd like to see it and how the jury comes to its decision. They should have been tried in the Bronx.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? People associate O.J.'s trial with a circus, but it's not the inevitable result of having cameras there.

Would you want cameras at your trial? I'd definitely want them if I was suing someone. If I was on trial myself, I wouldn't.


Jose Rivera
Age 32
Resides Queens
Occupation Systems operator

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? Yes, they should be there because they'll be trying to cover things up if cameras aren't documenting things.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? They obviously moved the case to avoid a circus, but this is a big-issue trial, and the cops should go to jail. If Diallo had been white, they would have subdued him, not shot at him 41 times.

Would you want cameras at your trial? I wouldn't ask for them, but if they were there I wouldn't object. Sometimes a camera can capture something that the jury doesn't see, and the jury should be able to request a copy of the trial videotape for review.


Metal Mike
Age 35
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Musician

Should cameras be allowed in the Diallo courtroom? The fact that the case was moved is more relevant than whether cameras are there and speaks to the fact that the Diallos aren't going to get a fair trial.

Does televising contribute to a "circuslike atmosphere"? The circus of O.J. Simpson's trial was a result of his celebrity, not of cameras.

Would you want cameras at your trial? I would be more concerned about a fair jury. Cameras have nothing to do with it.

 
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