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Time to keep cameras out of the courtroom

Now that Jodi Arias has been found guilty of first-degree murder, it’s time for Arizona to ban television cameras from the courtroom.

I’m all for unfiltered access to the nation’s judicial process — which, let’s be honest the Arias trial is not about — but I’m against making killers like Jodi Arias into celebrities.

The cameras made that happen and Jodi Arias loved every second of it. So did prosecutor Juan Martinez.

Think about it. Do you remember the day Travis Alexander’s body was found in his home? Do you remember the moment Jodi Arias was arrested and booked into jail charged with murder? I don’t.

Back in 2008, this barely seemed to be a story. It was just another murder relegated to the back pages of the local section in the newspaper, the stuff that’s hard to even find online.

The television cameras showed us unfiltered images of Arias and Alexander. They recorded every detail of their sexy and often bizarre phone conversations. The cameras were there to capture all 18 days of Arias’ testimony and the cameras were there when the verdict was read, zoomed in on Arias’ face to capture her emotions.

If cameras were not allowed into the courtroom, many of the details would have been lost. Juan Martinez wouldn’t be labeled as an up-and-coming star and there certainly wouldn’t have been hundreds of people camped outside the courthouse.

Television cameras are allowed into the courts to allow us to see the process but they create a judicial circus and, instead of protecting the process, seem only to make a mockery out of it.

The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t allow cameras, they only release audio recordings. Arizona courts should do the same. If no cameras were allowed, Jodi Arias would still have been found guilty, but she wouldn’t be a household name.

That’s the way it should be.