THE public can get a glimpse of Richard Allen’s murder trial as the Indiana Supreme Court enacted a major overhaul of its previous camera policy in courtrooms.
Judges will now have their discretion to decide whether cameras will be allowed in their courtrooms from May 1 ahead of the much-anticipated trial of the accused Delphi killer.
Richard Allen’s trial could be the first in Indiana to be broadcast globally after the near-total ban on cameras was lifted.
Allen, 50, was arrested and charged with murder in late October 2022 – years after the deaths of teenage friends Libby German and Abby Williams went cold.
The two girls were found dead along an abandoned railway line in Delphi, Indiana, after they disappeared in 2017 on a hike on the Monon High Bridge Trail.
Years went by with no leads or potential suspects, but in 2022, the police finally made a breakthrough.
Investigators linked Allen to the scene through testimony and Snapchat footage found on German’s phone.
The case has received a lot of media attention and is considered the most high-profile trial Indiana has seen in a decade, according to WRTV.
And now that Indiana is in line with 48 other states that allow cameras in courtrooms, people may have an opportunity to tune into the trial themselves.
Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Loretta H. Rush said the public has a right to see how the state’s legal system works.
“We currently have 2.8 million cases pending in Indiana courts, and these cases affect all facets of Hoosier life,” Rush told WRTV. “In order for people to trust the courts, I think they need to know what’s going on in the courtrooms.”
The new judgment contains a number of provisions. Judges can impose conditions they deem necessary, refusing cameras outright, or requiring them to be put away at any time during the trial.
“They know their communities, they know their justice partners, they know their prosecutors, they know their attorneys, public defenders and often they know the families,” Chief Justice Rush claimed.
Young people and victims of violence, sex crimes and domestic violence can now be filmed.
Cameras may only be used by professional media representatives and not by the general public.
Special Judge Frances Gull will decide whether cameras are allowed in Richard Allen’s trial.
The judge presided over one of the five courtrooms selected to participate in the state’s pilot program testing cameras in 2021.
Regarding the program, Gull told the Indiana Supreme Court that cameras in her court were “unobtrusive.”
However, she has not yet made a decision on whether they will be admitted in the Allen trial.
His trial date was due to start last month but has been postponed indefinitely.
Allen is next in court on June 15.