On July 1, 1992, Virginia joined forty other states by allowing cameras into state courtrooms on a permanent basis. A pilot program had been underway since 1987, allowing news coverage by television cameras, audio recorders, and still cameras in a handful of state courtrooms. Lawmakers had extended the experiment twice, delaying a permanent decision in the face of varying opinions about the success of the program. The Supreme Court of Virginia issued two reports over the five year span indicating the pilot program had produced a negative effect on the judicial process. Broadcasters, on the other hand, consistently claimed the pilot program had run smoothly. Despite the Virginia Supreme Court's official recommendations, during the 1992 session the General Assembly approved permanent provisions for cameras in state courts to be implemented beginning July 1, 1992.
Teresa D. Keller,
Cameras in Virginia Courtroom,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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