Jill Wine-Banks, a former prosecutor, recently made a powerful case on MSNBC for including cameras in courtrooms—particularly in the upcoming cases involving none other than Donald Trump.
Over recent years, we’ve seen many courtrooms open their doors to cameras. So why not apply the same approach to Trump’s trials? Audio recordings have been a staple in Supreme Court proceedings for some time now, and the supposed concerns that once deterred their inclusion have proven to be unfounded.
Wine-Banks champions the idea of courtroom transparency, stating, “Jurors are not the only ones who the outcome matters.” When citizens are granted a window into the judicial process, we can witness firsthand the evidence presented. This kind of accessibility could play a crucial role in fostering trust in the system.
Critics may argue that lawyers could play to the cameras, but that hasn’t been the case so far, not even in the Supreme Court, where audio has been allowed. Plus, today’s technology offers discreet solutions: modern cameras can be so small, they can easily blend into the courtroom’s backdrop, causing minimal distraction.
Moreover, Wine-Banks counters concern over jury protection by suggesting that cameras can be positioned to keep the jury off-screen. Her belief in the importance of courtroom cameras garners supports from a retired judge, who also advocates for this measure.
National security lawyer Bradley Moss, meanwhile, hypothesizes that Trump might actually fear the spotlight’s glare. With cameras present, Trump would lose his ability to control the narrative—a major win for transparency.
There’s a logistical elephant in the room, though. Trump faces multiple cases in various locations, leading host Alicia Menendez to question whether our judicial system can handle such an onslaught. Wine-Banks admitted that the system might not have been designed for this—but it’s a challenge we must face head-on.
Trump’s extensive list of impending trials includes the Manhattan indictment, the E. Jean Carroll case, the Fulton County indictment, the federal Jan. 6 investigation, and the Mar-a-Lago probe. Given this intricate web of legal battles, having cameras in the courtroom could aid Americans in keeping track of the proceedings.
In Wine-Banks’ view, there’s no valid reason to exclude cameras. She insists that there are countless reasons to include them, especially for cases of national significance like those involving Trump. And if the courts won’t take the initiative, perhaps it’s time for legislation to step in and ensure transparency prevails. After all, seeing is believing.