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SPJ criticizes Judge Lance Ito for turning off courtroom cameras


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Statement by Reginald Stuart, national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, regarding the actions today of Judge Lance Ito as he temporarily closed his courtroom to television cameras:

"This was a surprising and regrettable move by Judge Ito, but we are glad he quickly reversed himself. In looking at a taped segment of the court proceedings that apparently triggered his decision to end television coverage, it does not appear that the confidentiality of Mr. Simpson and his attorneys was compromised. Hopefully this was a glitch in the process. We're on the home stretch and everyone is anxious."

"We don't think the $1,500 fine was required, but that issue can be dispensed of at a later date. It's most important, however, that the public's access to the trial be protected and respected, the welfare of the public requiring it."

"In the end, Judge Ito made the right decision."

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