Denver Murder Trial Filmed for ABC-TV Documentary

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A bold experiment to bring the public a true picture of a criminal trial is underway in Denver, the Denver Post says. A 10-member crew from ABC’s “State v.” is filming the murder case of “People v. Bryson Knight” in Denver District Court. The crew is being given unprecedented access to prosecutors, defense attorneys and the jury for a program that will air in a year.

“My goal is to take people where they’ve never been. By doing that, you educate people,” said Emmy-award winning ABC producer Michael Bicks. “Our other goal is to let the participants explain what they are going through in their own terms. This is an old-fashioned documentary.”

Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter said such a program is badly needed. “The fact that the public gets most of their notions about criminal trials from fictional shows and fictional characters distorts what the process is about,” Ritter said. “It’s theater.” In reality, he said, what occurs in the courtroom and in prosecution and defense offices more closely approximates serious surgery.

Seven cameras are covering the proceedings: three in the courtroom and four in the jury room. The cameras are small and unobtrusive. On Thursday, jurors paid no attention to them.

The Colorado Supreme Court in December agreed to grant ABC the unprecedented access, permitting the network to film the case from trial preparation through the final verdict.


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