Illinois' highest court is allowing news cameras in criminal courtrooms in southwestern Illinois' Madison County as part of a pilot program.
The cameras allowed by the Illinois Supreme Court in the state's Third Judicial Circuit including Madison County follows approval of similar programs in the Quad Cities area and Kankakee County.
Judges say the move will promote openness in the judicial system but strive to be balanced with a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial.
The Third Circuit's chief judge, Ann Callis, says she'd explore prospects of expanding the program to other courthouses in her jurisdiction.
The Illinois Supreme Court last year approved a pilot program letting courts request permission for cameras.
The high court and appellate courts have allowed cameras to broadcast oral arguments since 1983.