Cook County to join cameras-in-court program

CHICAGO -- The Illinois Supreme Court has allowed the use of cameras and audio recording devices in Cook County courts on an experimental basis starting next month.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman and Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans made the announcement Tuesday morning. Cook County is the largest and latest of dozens of counties in Illinois that have joined a state high court camera pilot program that launched in 2012.

Court officials say the program will begin Jan. 5 in the felony courtrooms at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. It's been the site of many high-profile trials. Bond hearings are excluded from the pilot project.

Illinois has allowed cameras to be present during Supreme Court and Appellate Court hearings since 1983.
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