Filming a real murder accused’s conviction

By Anna Sandiford 02/07/2013 1


A brief post this one about a British Channel 4 production that recorded a 6 week murder trial and its outcome:

“The dramatic moment in which a man is convicted of arranging the murder of his wife and then disposing of her body will be broadcast on television next week.

A documentary crew working for Channel 4 followed the six-week retrial of Nat Fraser at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2012. Using six remotely controlled miniature cameras positioned around the courtroom, film-makers were able to achieve extraordinary close-ups of the defendant, judge, advocates and witnesses as the evidence in one of Scotland’s most notorious and baffling cases was played out.”

What does NZ think about this? Is this a step too far? Who gets final say on what is shown to the viewing public? Does this really provide the education that the public needs? Is it ever possible to convey how slow court proceedings appear compared with TV, which is one comment I commonly hear from people who have served on juries? Would such filing access have assisted in high-profile, controversial cases to make them less controversial?


One Response to “Filming a real murder accused’s conviction”

  • Dr Sandiford, you can answer your own question. Think about the media coverage of trials at which you have been present. Did that coverage reflect the mood of the court and the effect of the proceedings, or did it reflect the bias of the reporters? The only way that such filming could be educative or useful later is if it were to be independent and unbiased.