Cameras in courtrooms left to judges' discretion

The Judicial Council of California has voted to retain judicial discretion over the use of cameras in state courts, including in all pretrial hearings in criminal cases.

Approved changes to Rule 980 of the California Rules of Court, which deals with electronic coverage in the courts, will take effect Jan. 1, 1997.

The policy-setting agency also approved approving it for circulation and public comment.

Last month the State Bar Board of Governors approved a list of 18 principles related to jury reform, which was forwarded to the Judicial Council.

Among other things, the board urged the council to reduce the burden and inconvenience of jury service, reduce terms of jury service and maintain the number of peremptory challenges.