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Date Posted: 16:16:28 02/16/07 Fri
Author: strawberry shortcake
Author Host/IP: awfnt.awf.org /
Subject: non-john: Phil Spector Trial Will Be Televised

Judge lets TV cameras into Phil Spector trial

POSTED: 3:12 p.m. EST, February 16, 2007

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The murder trial of rock 'n' roll producer Phil Spector will be televised, a judge ordered Friday, saying it is time for the justice system to get beyond the O.J. Simpson trial.

"There's going to come a time that it will be commonplace to televise trials," Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said. "If it had not been for Simpson, we'd be there now."

Only jury selection will not be televised.

The televised trial at which Simpson was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman became a national phenomenon in 1995.

Fidler said Simpson's judge, Lance Ito, is a close friend and he believes Ito was wrongly blamed for the trial's circus-like atmosphere.

Attorneys for Spector had opposed cameras in the court, saying it would cause witnesses to act differently and might make jurors self-conscious in their role.

But Fidler said he believed he could control the situation, and if there was any negative fallout, "I can pull the plug at any time."

"Public scrutiny is a good thing," said the judge, adding that a televised trial would dispel the belief that celebrities are treated differently in court.

Spector is accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson four years ago at his suburban mansion. The 67-year-old record producer has pleaded not guilty and has been free on $1 million bail.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 19.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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