Tomorrow morning the Illinois Supreme Court will enter orders to allow cameras in both the first judicial circuit in the southern part of the state and the 18th circuit, which is outside of Chicago.
The announcement was made this afternoon by Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, who was in St. Louis to accept the “Illinoisan of the Year” award from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.
Kilbride is the driving force behind a pilot program aimed at increasing accessibility to the legal system and expects more courts to allow cameras in the future.
A network of street cameras designed to curb crime is getting some attention in St. Louis City Hall.
21st Ward alderman Antonio French claims the cameras have reduced violent crime in his north city ward by 80 percent.
“When we had 14 homicides in 2010, what had happened was that this was an area where criminals felt they could operate without fear of being arrested or being held to account,” French said. “The cameras changed that.”
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that police must preserve video evidence in all cases, even misdemenors.
The court upheld sanctions today in a case where police erased video of a drunken driving arrest. The defendant told prosecutors she intended to fight the charges and wanted the video, but police still followed their policy of destroying videos after 30 days.