29
Jan
12

Need For Court Artists Fades as Cameras Move In

One marker in hand and one in his mouth, Lou Chukman glances up and down from a sketchpad to a reputed Chicago mobster across the courtroom — drawing feverishly to capture the drama of the judge’s verdict before the moment passes.

Sketch artists have been the public’s eyes at high-profile trials for decades — a remnant of an age when drawings in broadsheet papers, school books or travel chronicles were how people glimpsed the world beyond their own.

Today, their ranks are thinning swiftly as states move to lift longstanding bans on cameras in courtrooms. As of a year ago, 14 states still had them — but at least three, including Illinois this month, have taken steps since then to end the prohibitions.

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