Cellphones a growing problem in Missouri courtrooms

Cellphones a growing problem in Missouri courtrooms

Credit: JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images

Shoppers at a mall send text messages using mobile phones September 9, 2009. Consumers in the Philippines are up in arms over a plan in Congress to impose excise tax on text and multimedia messages sent through mobile phones. With some 70 million mobile phone users and up to 300 million messages criss-crossing across mobile networks, the Philippines is widely considered as the world's texting capital. AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO

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AP

Posted on December 30, 2012 at 12:46 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Advances in cellphone technology are causing problems for some judges who are grappling with the question of whether the devices need to be banned entirely from courtrooms.

Cameras are off limits in most courtrooms, but decisions on whether to allow cellphones are generally left up to judges. One of the main concerns about courtroom photography is that jurors or witnesses in criminal cases could be publicly identified, opening them up to threats or intimidation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/W3BMzA) that several recent incidents in which people have been caught taking pictures with cellphones in Missouri courtrooms show how difficult it is to completely prevent it from happening.

Judges say it might be time to reconsider bans on cellphones in courtrooms, if not entire courthouses, to resolve the problems.

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