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Why we still need courtroom sketch artists

Many American states prohibit the use of cameras and other recording devices inside courtrooms during trials. While some state laws have changed to accommodate technology over the years, cameras are mostly strictly banned in Federal and Supreme Courts. As a result, many news organizations rely on courtroom sketch artists like Christine Cornell to document what happens during high profile trials.

Christine Cornell’s illustration of Tom Brady’s “Deflategate” trial.

Cornell has been covering trials for over 40 years and has drawn everyone from Donald Trump to P Diddy. She says that being a courtroom artist is a demanding job that requires an ability to capture the moment in a short amount of time. While a camera could easily do the same, she believes an artist provides a human touch to a process that can often be harsh.

Even though Cornell has captured terrorists, mafia members and murderers on trial, she points out the importance of compassion when approaching sketches. To learn more about her process and why we still see pastel sketches of celebrity trials, watch the video above.

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