Cameras? Jury's Still Out

Filming deliberations for television could be a great display of democracy--or a gross distortion of justice

We will follow the TV camera just about anywhere it wants to go--whether it's up Katie Couric's colon or down on bended knee with The Bachelor. Few places are safe from a prying lens, but one that has remained mostly off limits is the jury room--where ordinary men and women can wield life-and-death power over their peers. "The jury remains the last great black box of American democracy," says Jeffrey Abramson, author of We, the Jury: The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy. "It's the government institution we know the least about."

A judge in Houston, Ted Poe, aims to...

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