Texas' Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial-court decision that would
have allowed PBS series Frontline to videotape jury deliberations in a death-penalty case.
It would have been the first such taping of a trial involving the death
penalty, although capital jury deliberations have been taped before.
The court ruled 6-3 that allowing taping would violate a centuries-old
rule that jury deliberations should be confidential and private.
"At the heart of this decision," Frontline said in a prepared statement, "lies
the court's profound mistrust of jurors and the jury system."
Frontline said it had no plans to take further legal action in the case
and it was currently assessing whether or not to proceed with filming the
case of Cedric Harrison, accused of killing a man during a carjacking.
A Houston judge had agreed to allow Frontline to tape deliberations.
While the defense backed Frontline, prosecutors appealed, arguing that a
camera could corrupt the deliberations.