Two rulings on electronic media in Illinois courtrooms

Two recent court rulings have put the spotlight on electronic media in the courtroom once again.

In the first ruling, cell phones and other electronic devices are now banned from all courthouses in Cook County except the Richard J. Daley Center in downtown Chicago.

The county's chief judge said that complaints that cell phones were used to take pictures of judges, witnesses and jurors prompted the decision.

He also says that he believed that some people were sending texts of testimony to witnesses outside the courtroom who were waiting to testify.

Any electronic device that has the ability to make audio or video recordings or to connect to the internet falls under the ban including tablet or laptop computers.

Phones will be permitted in the public ares of the Daily Center but not in courtrooms.

The judges ruling will go into effect in January.

Meanwhile another county will allow cameras in the courtroom as a part of an ongoing pilot program.

The Illinois Supreme Court added McLean County, in central Illinois, to the list.

Cameras and microphones will be allowed in trial courtrooms.

McLean is now the 24th county in the state to participate in the program.

The order goes into effect immediately.