Readers Write: Cameras in the courtroom, Rittenhouse trial, Robert Bly – Minneapolis Star Tribune


One of the oldest legal maxims is not only must justice be done, but justice must be seen to be done. How is it, then, that four decades after other states have routinely had cameras in the court, Minnesota is still debating whether to broaden access? How is it that the panel studying the issue here contains only attorneys and judges? (“Panel looks at camera policies for courtrooms,” Nov. 13.)

What are they afraid of? Nearly 70% of other states have longstanding rules and media relationships, many going back 40 years, including Iowa and Wisconsin. Just pick from one of those many models.

Over 23 million people watched some of the Derek Chauvin trial. Local reporters and experts did an excellent job helping us add context to what we were seeing. Studies have shown for over a decade that televised trial coverage educates the public about the courts and does not interfere with proceedings.

The time for “experiments” and closed-minded advisory commissions is over. The Minnesota Legislature needs to legislate presumed camera access with certain obvious exceptions. Choose transparency. Choose the First Amendment.

Public dollars fund the courts, judges, prosecutors and public defenders. We should be able to see how they work.

Tom Garrison, Eagan


Kyle Rittenhouse “is also a victim”? (Opinion Exchange, Nov. 23.) Are rapists victims of socialization within a culture of male domination? Should we change the laws to reflect the idea that they are “provoked” to acts of violence by the actual victims? Obviously not, because we need common-sense laws that discourage acts of violence in lieu of a framework that enables killing in the name of “self-defense.” Rittenhouse wouldn’t have done what he did if there were severe consequences for that type of behavior. Sociology has its place, but if you’re not thinking about how to take on the gun lobby and make America tangibly safer, I don’t want to hear it right now.

Roman Morris, Minneapolis


The tragic events of Kenosha and Waukesha underscore some glaring realities that must be addressed quickly. The legal authority for law enforcement must be recognized as fundamental for a civil society to function. The unlawful actions of a few who wear the badge cannot be projected to an entire department or profession. The quick response by those wishing to score political points and advance an agenda are fueling the fire. All this must be balanced with the right of free speech, but limits must be recognized and enforced.

The immediate conclusion that law enforcement is guilty has to be discouraged by local leaders. The judicial process separates society from mob rule, and its verdict must be recognized. But the judicial process is also failing us when it has a “no bail or low bail” policy. …….