A first: Cameras allowed in Illinois courtrooms

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  • Kristin Holzman is In Session's first on-camera trial in state
  • She is accused of falsely claiming she had cancer
A first: Cameras allowed in Illinois courtrooms

The Kristin Holzman case is the first trial that In Session has ever covered on-camera in the state of Illinois.

Until very recently, all cameras were banned inside Illinois courtrooms (except for hearings at the appellate level). But starting this year, the Illinois Supreme Court has been urging judicial districts throughout the state to allow cameras in court, and counties are slowly coming on board, one by one.

Henry County, where the Holzman trial took place, was one of the first counties to opt in to the new program.

Most of the Illinois districts that have decided to admit television cameras are -- like Henry County -- located in the largely rural western part of the state. Judges, attorneys, and court administrators there are used to seeing television coverage of trials from the border states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri -- all of which have granted camera access for years. Therefore, the prospect of televised legal proceedings is a much more familiar concept than it might be in other parts of the state. 

Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, has yet to adopt the new policy, although officials there have indicated that they may do so soon. Will County, where the recent Drew Peterson trial took place, also does not allow cameras at this point.

Although some local television stations have taped bits and pieces of a few other cases since the new camera access rules took effect, the Holzman trial is the first trial in the state's history that has been recorded in its entirety and will be televised gavel-to-gavel.

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