Why Do They Make Drawings in Court
In recent decades, courtroom artists have drawn an angry Charles Manson, brandishing a pencil, diving into aisles and aiming at the judge; Tupac Shakur appears with a new set of gunshot wounds; and handcuffs around Lindsay Lohan`s wrists when she entered custody with Louboutins. When not competing with each other or with the other cameras in the courtroom, many of these courtroom cartoonists share the ability to filter out these distractions – both inside and outside the courtroom – and get the job done. In June of this year, when the White House began blocking camera access to press briefings (as has been common practice for 25 years), the work of courtroom artists took on a new urgency. CNN asked Washington-based cartoonist Bill Hennessy to give a briefing to then-press secretary Sean Spicer. With no camera, video or live audio in the room, he offered a critical perspective behind closed doors. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the courts began to experiment with allowing the photograph and radio broadcasting of hearings. After the media “circus” surrounding the trial of Richard Bruno Hauptmann for the Lindbergh kidnapping, transmissions from federal courts were prohibited under Article 53 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure.  In addition, the American Bar Association adopted Judicial Canon 35, which prohibits the use of motion or fixed cameras in the courtroom and has been codified by law by the majority of states.  On the other hand, no state or federal court continued to prohibit the publication of court sketches and judicial sketches. Outside the courtroom, Rosenberg`s art focused on happier and more idyllic scenes. Their pieces capture the snow around the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, blooming flowers, bright bakeries, and colorful sunsets. “Life in the courtroom is sad,” she said. “These are just terrible things.
No one is happy in a courtroom. With binoculars in front of her eyes, Christine Cornell jumped forward to look past the court commissioners standing in front of her to catch a glimpse of one of America`s most hated men. And the internet continues to rejoice (and discuss) in the art of high-level courtrooming. In 2015, people went crazy about a supposedly unflattering resemblance of New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady to artist Jane Rosenberg`s pencil drawings of the federal lawsuit against the NFL inciting memes and parodies on social media. Even in Britain (I don`t know how it is elsewhere), the artist is not allowed to draw in court – he has to memorize the image and then make his sketch. She`s not alone in wondering if courtroom cameras make more sense than pencils. Nearly three decades after O. J. The Simpson trial, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley are pushing for greater transparency with a new bipartisan bill that could bring cameras back to federal courts (though still at the discretion of judges). The Church, for example, is not worried. “These discussions take place every five years and somehow they are always rejected.” “You know, what`s fascinating about the age of electronics is that they still depend on me, with my notepad, my pen and my color markers,” Robles says.
And while he regretfully admits that the price of his sketchbook has gone from $15 to $27, that may be the only thing that will change. During their decades of work, the artists who spoke to TIME experienced historic moments, dramatic testimonies, and horrific realities that remain in their minds to this day. Just a few months ago, Cornell saw a Cosby accuser collapse during her court testimony, and then, in a rare move, turn her attention to Cosby herself and speak directly to her. “You could have heard a pin fall into the room,” Cornell said. But Ito`s decision totally backfired. As Edwards recalls, witnesses were completely reshuffled between pre-trial hearings and the actual trial, with housekeepers entering the courts “completely finished”; Lawyers began positioning their desks for optimal camera angles. “It was a circus.” “In those 38 years, I cried many times. It`s very hard to draw with tears in your eyes,” said Rosenberg, who also recently pointed out Weinstein during his court appearances and Anthony Weiner during his September 2017 conviction. “So I try to stay neutral and keep working.” This type of work can be very interesting for an artist. It offers the opportunity to explore portraiture every day with new people and develop a variety of drawing skills. Along the way, some court artists are very knowledgeable about legal practice and can apply their knowledge to their work.
Cornell also came under fire when she lured actress Uma Thurman during a court appearance in 2008, she said. And in 1980, before social media could make a sketch viral for some reason, Lien said he also felt the pressure of intense precision. He was commissioned to describe former President Richard Nixon, who was testifying on behalf of Mark Felt at the time. (Ffelt, ironically, was later revealed as Deep Throat.) “There was this feeling of, `My God, you have to get Nixon just right,`” he said. “I know an artist there lost her job because she wasn`t having a good day.” One of the most famous court artists was Walt Stewart, whose career began with the trial of Jack Ruby. Over the next 35 years, while being mentored by various networks, he covered famous lawsuits such as the Manson family, Soledad Brothers, Angela Davis and Patty Hearst. Her works are now on display in museums and her sketches of the Patty-Hearst trial were purchased by Liza Minnelli.  Courtroom cartoonists attend hearings as members of the public or as recognized media, depending on the location and jurisdiction. Judges may require or permit artists to sit in a specific area, or they may sit in general public seats.
In some jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, courtroom performers are not allowed to describe court proceedings and are required to make scrap sketches or notes after leaving the courtroom.  A courtroom artist is an artist who depicts courtroom scenes. Many courtrooms do not allow cameras, and the only way to convey what is happening in court to the outside world is to use sketches and reports from journalists sitting in the courtroom. The tradition of banning cameras in courtrooms is slowly eroding in many parts of the world, although some supreme courts have maintained the practice of blocking cameras because it affects the process and the dignity of the court. The wider adoption of cameras in courts has made it difficult to pursue a career as a courtroom artist in some areas.