Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Many people think the trial of alleged hijacker Zacarias Mossaoui should be televised. This could have many positives, but also has negatives. With different articles from various newspapers this paper will show all sides of the issue. I will also give my opinion on the subject.

An article from the New York Times titled A Terror Trial on TV tells about what this issue is all about. The argument is over if they should broadcast the trial on television. Some people want just the victims to be the only ones to see it. Who are the victims then? In December the senate approved a bill to put the trial on closed circuit television. The article also goes over another main point. This would be that the public could see how we are dealing with terrorist we put on trial. If the trial was put on TV it defiantly make some kind of impact on the public.

They could watch as Zacarias Moussaoui, the person who was in connections with what happened September 11, being tried. You might get satisfaction in knowing that this person is being sentenced. How many people would actually watch it though? Maybe some people would not want to watch this. Mainly because it will bring back memories of what devastation took place not to long ago.

Another article that came out of the USA Today about 3 days later had some new information. The article talks about if they did or did not put the trial on TV. What happened was a Federal Judge, name not given, would not lift the ban and allow Court TV to show it. The ban dates back to the 1940's, when cameras were big and bulky. The judge said "Given the issues raised in the indictment, any special benefits from photographing or broadcasting these proceedings are significantly out-weighed by the dangers worldwide broadcasting would pose to the orderly and secure administration of justice." If I had any say in if the trial was to be televised, I would have said no also. I just don't think it is fair to everyone to put it on air. We don't need to watch this trial. There was already some much damage and sorrow from what happened to the world trade buildings and other spots as well. We don't need to be reminded of what took place. It's not like seeing this will make everything back to normal. Not even if it was Osama Bin Laden on trial, it wouldn't change anything. People rely on TV too much for everything. Can't they just wait to see what happened in the paper? Why is it so important it needs to be on TV? If they would have televised it and he got the death sentence. My opinion is that then they should have to show the execution also.

An article from talks about the trial that first met middle January. It tells that Zacarias Moussaoui and his attorneys met with lawyers from a television network to argue in favor of televising the proceedings. Judge Leonie Brinkema said she would not issue a ruling on the matter before a couple of weeks. Court TV argued that the public would be better off getting live information from their TV rather then secondhand information from news sources. A lawyer from Court TV says "if a reporter can take notes and a sketch artist can make a portrait, then there simply is no basis which to exclude cameras". Moussaoui is in favor of putting the trial on TV. He thinks he will have a better chance of getting a fairly conducted trial. The Government argued that the cameras would undermine security, influence jurors, and distract witnesses.