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Pilot Program Allows Cameras In Some Minn. Courts

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ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A pilot project has begun that will allow Minnesotans a closer look at what goes on in some courtrooms.

The two-year project involves loosened restrictions on the use of still and video cameras in some civil trials. It went into effect Friday.

Under the old rules, the judge, prosecution and defense all had to agree to allow cameras. That rarely happened.

But after news media argued for greater openness, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to allow a two-year test run.

Cameras are still banned for criminal cases, but news organizations hope a tryout in civil court will help them prove that their recording devices wouldn’t be a problem at criminal trials.

A St. Cloud Times report notes that Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota have allowed cameras in courts for years.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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