Ky. Official Wants Arraigments Televised Unedited

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Kenton County, Ky., Attorney Garry Edmondson has proposed that the county air sessions of its Arraignment Court live on a public-access local government channel, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. If the judges involved approve his proposal, the daily, unedited cablecast could be one of the first of its kind in the nation. It would air each weekday’s two- to three-hour session of the court, which handles arraignments in cases from minor traffic infractions to murder.

Edmondson told the Enquirer editorial board: “Part of my job is to educate the public about how the law has evolved and what it does. One of the great mysteries remains the judicial branch. Often, people have no concept of how it works. I want to lift the veil from the whole system. If people could see it operating, that would solve a lot of problems. It would show people what are the crimes involved, what people are charged with. Often these are minor offenses, such as not giving 10 days’ notice after an address change for your driver’s license. All these things are clogging up our system. About 50 percent of all cases are these little things. If we could let people know what some of these laws are and their consequences, we could reduce the court’s docket. We already have cameras and a videotape system in place, and we do video arraignments in the courts from the jails…Kentucky Chief Justice Joseph Lambert says the judicial branch is the least accessible branch of government for most citizens, and that we must make its processes ‘more open and understandable.’ This would increase public awareness and trust, hold judges and lawyers more accountable, and make courts more accessible.”

Link: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/06/04/editorial_edmondson.html

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