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Elzbieta Plackowska Hearing Televised: Cameras Enter Chicago-Area Courtroom For The First Time

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Cameras rolled as a mother charged with stabbing her young son and his friend to death in a Naperville town home this October faced a DuPage County judge Wednesday morning.

Elzbieta Plackowska has pleaded not guilty in the stabbing deaths of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was babysitting. Her hearing marks the first live broadcast of legal proceedings in the Chicago area, according to ABC Chicago.

The newly-permitted cameras are the result of a January Illinois Supreme Court ruling that makes it legal in 23 counties to have cameras in trial courts--on an experimental, case-by-case basis, said the Daily Herald. Prior to the ruling, Illinois was one of only 14 states that barred courtroom photography.

(Read more on the state Supreme Court decision permitting courtroom photography.)

On Tuesday, Judge Robert Kleeman decided to allow two cameras in his courtroom: one television camera and one still camera. The Associated Press said cameras were directly behind Plackowska as she faced the judge Wednesday morning.

Camera placement was determined after Plackowska's attorney said photographers near the witness box would be "distracting," reports the Tribune. Plackowska and her lawyers will have their backs to the camera, now positioned near the jury box, though the defendant will be in view as she enters the courtroom from the holding area.

Two prior trials in Illinois have allowed cameras since the ruling, both without incident. The AP said Cook County's Chief Judge, Timothy Evans, expects to next bring courtroom cameras to Chicago soon.

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