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NY chief judge: Open courts to cameras again

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state's top judge wants courtrooms open to camera coverage so New Yorkers can see for themselves how justice works.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who presides at the Court of Appeals where arguments are routinely broadcast online, is calling for a change in state law so people can know how laws are being interpreted, rights determined, criminals punished and tax dollars spent for the courts and legal system.

While some judges now permit still photographers and video cameras on a limited case-by-case basis, he says access is cumbersome and requires judges to navigate an outdated law.

While New York lawmakers 25 years ago approved camera coverage of court proceedings on an experimental basis, that legislation lapsed 10 years later.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.