Live broadcast of Peterson murder trial

Feb. 16, 2011 at 9:01 AM
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OTTAWA, Ill., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A single camera is being permitted in an Illinois courtroom Wednesday as attorneys argue over a controversial hearsay law at the Drew Peterson murder trial.

The high-profile case marks the first time in Illinois history that oral arguments are being broadcast live from an appellate court, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Peterson, a former Bollingbrook, Ill., police sergeant, is charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, 57, who was found dead in an empty bathtub in 2004. His fourth wife, Stacey Peterson, disappeared in 2007.

Legal experts say the decision to allow a live broadcast signals a deepening transparency in the Illinois judicial system.

"It's a very big deal for us," said clerk Gist Fleshman of the Third District Appellate Court. "There's no way we would do this for every run-of-the-mill case, but we recognize the interest."

Media outlets will share the video feed from the camera whose operator is not allowed to wear any station-identifying clothing or use additional lighting in the courtroom.

Wednesday's arguments in the Peterson case involve prosecutors' efforts to admit 13 so-called hearsay statements at trial.

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