Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cameras in the courts... but no defendants...

Lately we've been tracking a hard news story about a Neenah woman accused of suffocating her young son, apparently after hearing voices telling her to do so.

In Winnebago County, the accused often make their initial appearances before the court via CCTV. The reasoning for this is lost of me. Perhaps it's a security reason... I suppose that makes some sense.

So as a news photographer, your only real course of action to get an image for the newspaper is to literally photograph the 27" CRT television that is sitting against the wall of the courtroom. It's less than ideal, of course. You would initially think the TV photographers would be at an advantage here... they can just plug into the signal feed right? Nuh uh! CCTV doesn't stand for closed circuit television for nothing!

Below is a "great" shot of the special prosecutor exiting the courtroom only to say she has no comment regarding the case details.

Prepare for the ensuing drama that will surely take months...

Confronted by television news media, special prosecutor Patti L. Wabitsch emerges from the initial appearance of Brenda Thiel, 27, of Neenah, Wis., accused of first degree intentional homicide, in Winnebago County Court in Oshkosh, Wis., Friday afternoon, May 16, 2008. Thiel is accused of killing her 2-year-old son, Caleb, by suffocation.
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