Social media, as most people know, is growing in popularity and the communication barrier getting smaller everyday. We receive and exchange information differently now than we did even several years ago. Even 5 years ago, the growth of social media, web technology, and its access to the masses was still in its infancy. It’s hard to believe, but it was only 6 years ago that YouTube was founded, and it was only 4 years ago that we were able to see clear streaming video in our phones.
We’ve come to a place where that is all accessible for most Americans, and technology is at the point where more people per-capita have a cellular phone than say access to clean water. How does all of this relate to social media in the court room? You may or may not be aware of it, but there has been a raging debate about cameras being allowed in courtrooms. This debate has been going on for a while with people on both sides raising good points and concerns.
On the con side, we hear plenty about people who say that they believe the cameras cause a distraction and could even be dangerous to those being tried. If someone who is believed to be guilty has his or her face plastered all over the papers, then an angry public mob might try to take justice into their own hands. This would cause a public safety crisis that no one wants to have to deal with. They also claim that this turns the courtroom proceedings into a form of entertainment for the public, and that is not what the law is all about. We here in Orlando can relate to this concern after having a summer of Casey Anthony drama.
On the pro side of the debate we hear cries for more transparency. People believe that they have a right to see what is happening in a court of the law that their tax dollars have helped to pay for. They say that cameras will help the media to be able to report to the public about exactly what is happening. Moreover, it would give the public an education of how our court system really works, because the reality is that most people never serve one day of jury duty. Additionally, it would allow the public to access Supreme Court hearings that affect everyone at large. There’s no reason why all that should remain hidden.
What do you think? Should our court system should be more transparent?