CBS News wins permission to videotape jury deliberations
MAINE–In early February, the Maine Supreme Court in Portland granted CBS News permission to place hidden television cameras in a jury room to videotape jury deliberations in a civil trial. The court’s ruling applies only to a request made by CBS.
The court’s 5-2 ruling does not specify which civil trial would be covered. The order requires the approval of both parties and of the jurors before cameras would be permitted.
Network officials believe this will be the first time that a commercial network has been given access to a jury room. A PBS program taped deliberations in a Wisconsin case in 1986.
CBS made the request in connection with a television documentary it is producing in conjunction with the American Bar Association on the American jury system. The network and the bar association have also submitted a request to the Arizona Supreme Court to cover jury deliberations in a criminal trial in that state. That request is still under consideration.
In its request to the Maine court, CBS said it hoped to begin the project this February, covering a civil trial in the Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland. (Docket No. SJC-228)