Under Local Rule 15, the remaining four counties in the circuit will
also join the pilot project in 60 days, bringing the grand total of
participating counties in Illinois to 40 and the total number of
participating circuits to 14. The 10th Judicial Circuit consists of
Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark and Tazewell counties in central
"The extended media coverage pilot project serves a very
important purpose in bringing transparency to the court system,"
said Chief Justice Rita B. Garman. "I am pleased to see that the
10th Circuit has agreed to participate, and the court thanks Chief
Judge Stephen Kouri and former Chief Judge Michael Brandt for their
planning in getting to this point."
Approval of the 10th Circuit expands the pilot project in the 3rd
Judicial District, where cameras have been approved and used since
the Supreme Court announced the pilot project in January 2012.
"With Peoria, there are now seven counties in the 3rd Judicial
District participating in the extended media coverage project, and
there will be four more counties to follow," said Justice Thomas L.
Kilbride, whose 3rd Judicial District includes the 10th Circuit.
"With (Friday's) announcement, more Illinoisans will be able to see
how the administration of justice operates in their courtrooms."
Kouri, the chief judge of the 10th Circuit, thanked the Supreme
Court for its approval and said that the judges in the circuit are
committed to the success of the program.
"We appreciate the confidence of the Supreme Court in approving
our application for extended media coverage," Kouri said. "For the
past year and a half, we've held several meetings with judges and
area media to ensure that while cameras are allowed in the
courtroom, justice is not compromised in any manner.
"We are excited about it and look forward to participating in the
The Supreme Court order approving the 10th Circuit requires that
a judge presiding over a proceeding in which cameras or audio are
allowed must file a report with the chief judge of the circuit, the
chief justice and the Supreme Court justice in the judicial district
where the circuit is located.
[to top of second column]
In 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court announced its approval of a
pilot project to allow news media cameras and audio equipment in
trial courtrooms in the state. Since then, 35 counties in 13
judicial circuits across Illinois have been participating in the
pilot program, opening the trial courtrooms to news photographers
and electronic news media to cover cases.
The Illinois Supreme Court has allowed cameras to broadcast its
own oral arguments, and those of the Illinois Appellate Court, since
1983. At that time, however, the court specifically rejected
allowing news cameras during trial proceedings, and the issue made
little headway until the Supreme Court took another look in 2011.
Peoria County in the 10th Judicial Circuit joins 35 other
counties where extended media coverage has been approved by the
Illinois Supreme Court: Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie
and Piatt counties in the 6th Judicial Circuit; Kane County in the
16th Circuit; Lake County in the 19th Judicial Circuit; DeKalb and
Kendall counties in the 23rd Judicial Circuit; Knox County in the
9th Judicial Circuit; McLean County in the 11th Judicial Circuit;
DuPage County in the 18th Judicial Circuit; Alexander, Jackson,
Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson
counties in the 1st Judicial Circuit; Boone and Winnebago counties
in the 17th Judicial Circuit; Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle and
Stephenson counties in the 15th Judicial Circuit; Madison County in
the 3rd Judicial Circuit; Kankakee County in the 21st Judicial
Circuit; and Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties in
the 14th Judicial Circuit.
[Text from file received from the
Illinois Supreme Court]