Cameras in the Courts 1937, the US

Cameras in the Courts 1937, the US
Cameras in the Courts 1937, the US

Cameras in the Courts 1937, the US

Photographers lost their right to testify in court in the early 1930s as a result of a sensational trial, and it took them four decades to reclaim it. Bruno Hauptmann was on trial in New Jersey in 1934 for kidnapping and murdering the baby of famous aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Nearly 700 reporters and photographers descended on the town. The trial judge allowed still photography, but was caught off guard by the bombardment of flashbulbs and the presence of a smuggled newsreel camera.

The American Bar Association (ABA) urged for the prohibition of photography in its Canons of Professional and Judicial Ethics in 1937, citing the media circus that occurred. At the same time, the United States Congress modified the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to prohibit cameras and broadcasting in federal courts. With the exception of Texas and Colorado, all states gradually embraced the ABA ban. Later, Texas allowed television cameras, and a Texas criminal case paved the way for the next step of growth in this area of US law.

SEE ALSO:

The Trial of Charles Manson (1970);

The Child Molestation Case (1983);

The O.J. Simpson Murder Trial (1995).

SOURCES:

Cameras in the Courts 1937, the US

The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)

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