I couldn’t turn my radio off. I found myself sitting in my car, in my garage listening to every word that Justice Denny Thomas was delivering in his verdict in the Travis Vader double murder trial. This time though, Travis Vader wasn’t the only one on trial. Our judicial system was in the spotlight as well.
This isn’t the first time cameras have been allowed inside a courtroom. The Supreme Court of Canada has broadcast most of its cases since 1995 and provincial courts have allowed them in certain cases. However, it is not the norm and it should be.
As Justice Thomas read his decision I understood his reasoning for finding Travis Vader guilty on two counts of second degree murder in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann. Had I simply heard that decision without the entire verdict I would have had more questions than answers.
Justice Thomas, in allowing the verdict to be broadcast, said it will increase the public’s confidence in the judicial system. In light of last week’s judicial hearing involving Justice Robin Camp there has never been a better time to bring cameras and microphones into courtrooms and not just for the verdict.