Why we still need courtroom sketch artists


What do P Diddy, Donald Trump, and Martha
Stewart all have in common? Christine Cornell. She’s a courtroom artist who’s captured all
of them at their trials. I’ve been covering trials for the last 1,000
years, which is about 1975. I did Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. I’ve drawn Mick Jagger a couple of times. I’ve drawn Mike Tyson. I did just come off the Cosby trial recently,
but I drew him probably 20 years ago. We live in an age where people’s phones
have 4K cameras and every dips*** on a snowboard has a GoPro
attached to their head, so why do we still see old-school pastel sketches
of so many trials? Courtroom illustrations are part of an old
tradition that dates back to the infancy of the United
States. But to figure out why we’re still relying
on them, we need to turn to Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 53, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. It’s a law that basically says you’re
not allowed to broadcast or take photographs of criminal proceedings
inside federal courtrooms. The ban on cameras was adopted in 1946, but its origin is often linked to the sensational
coverage of the 1935 trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the murder of the Lindbergh
baby. Most state courts have had a similar ban on
cameras as well, which is why news outlets relied heavily on
artists like Christine to document the trials. Courtroom photography has been a hotly debated
issue for a long time. There are many who believe having cameras
in all courtrooms will make for a more transparent judicial
process. On the other hand, some people point to the
O.J. Simpson trial as a prime example of why it might not be
a good idea: A lengthy, complicated judicial process
was turned into a primetime spectacle. It’s an unfair burden, I think to put on
a defendant. Because they are presumed innocent, for starts, and the camera is a brutal exposure, and the
artists are a filter. There’s just something that’s a little
more human. It’s a little bit softer. It mitigates a little bit on behalf of the
person. One great thing about drawing as opposed to
cameras in the court is you can shrink the space. You can put people in juxtaposition to each
other that dramatizes or allows the drama to come out. I asked Christine to do a drawing to show
me her process. I requested one of me in a prison jumpsuit
getting tased by guards, but she suggested we do it sitting instead. When I look very hard at someone that I’m
about to draw, then I look at my page, their face is actually glowing on the page. And it’s kind of like when you watch film
develop, except it’s the reverse. I watch that image fade. Studying anatomy is very useful because I
have to do an awful lot of recreating of things that
I just saw happen in front of me. But then they just happened, and now they’re
not there anymore. And you have to be able to do that from your
knowledge. If you think too much about what your feelings
are about somebody, it’s going to interfere
with your drawing. But what about all the awful people you’ve
had to draw over the years? I think you need to have a huge dollop of
compassion, because that’s the only way you’re going to
capture soul on the page. And that way, you’re going to get your most
true likenesses. You wanna make those portraits speak to you
on the page. When people cry, you gotta get it. It’s, like, part of the court artist’s
contract, you know, do not miss the tears. Unfortunately for Christine, I’m from Minnesota,
so I’m unable to express my emotions. Drawing this fast is just, it’s totally
insane. Sometimes you can churn out as many as six
drawings a day; I’ve churned out as many as eight drawings
a day. You’re always taking it all in as it comes,
but there’s always certain things that catch your eye and that you find particularly appealing. Like when Martin Shkreli was in court, he had a bunch of gestures where he would
take his hand and just sort of go like this, and it was sort of fun because you could see
the white around this part of his eye, you know. When Bernie Madoff was sentenced, he was taken,
remanded directly, and they cuffed his hands behind his back and led him through a door, and of course
I had to draw that. Christine’s captured a ton of memorable
moments. But the laws have changed her profession over
the years, and a number of bills have been introduced
to allow cameras inside federal and supreme courts. Once upon a time, there were so many artists
they had to give us the whole front of a courtroom, you know, front row on both sides. And now there’s just a few of us. They allowed cameras on an experimental basis
in New York State Court, and that sort of eviscerated the business, that took away the bread and butter, because
state court was where we did most of our work. The business has changed, but there’s still,
you know, there’s still crime.

100 comments

  • Weird Guy

    Her paintings remind me of Lucian Freud’s

    Reply
  • Skiza

    Whoa VOX why you coming at snowboarders like that⁉️

    Reply
  • HD Keemii

    agree snowboarders are annoying , don't lie to yourselves

    Reply
  • Laze DiorBound

    10% of the comments: Interesting!

    90.06%: TFFF DID SNOWBOARDERS DO TO YOUU?!??

    Reply
  • Ghoulem Editing & More

    THE SNOWBOARD INSULT WAS PLAIN MEAN. NO ONE CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THEM SO KEEP THAT TO YOURSELF.

    Reply
  • slowdissapearing

    Wasn't the woman who testified against Bill Cosby named "Andrea Constad" …..not "Gianna"?

    Reply
  • Wolf Slayer

    Drawings, depictions, illustrations, caricatures etc….nah! you still
    can't capture it better than a box brownie, still, neither can reveal
    guilt nor innocence.

    Reply
  • TUNGSTEN 0340

    When a court room sketch artist is better than you at drawing

    Reply
  • Evelyn Pichardo

    3:30 same

    Reply
  • Awe47

    To sell on eBay a few years later

    Reply
  • Joe JJJ

    answer, because its illegal to film inside courtroom. then enjoy 5 minutes of interviewing some gypsie woman

    Reply
  • Clarebear 0925

    What did snowboarders ever do to you????

    Reply
  • Umar Farooq

    Is the artist wearing shalwar kurta lol?

    Reply
  • Umar Farooq

    Its seems really ghetto to sketch them these days but its seems cool and it is the law

    Reply
  • Sammy with a Why

    I want a portrait done by her… but I don't want to go to court

    Reply
  • Jay Straw

    great subject and funny host

    Reply
  • froggy

    minnesota!

    Reply
  • Oaf

    All the things she mentioned about the benefits of drawing, the drama and the softening and framing, is exactly why I think courtroom art should be ended. Justice shouldn’t be editorialized.

    Reply
  • Jaden N. Hernandez

    TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP is literally what the next 4 years is gonna be about lol

    Reply
  • Planetary Facts

    It's blue Pearl!

    Reply
  • Lu1s.com

    An obsolete profession and should be retired already. Rule 53 needs to go already.

    Reply
  • Calin Ciocanea

    As a snowboarder with a go pro i am offended

    Reply
  • Swift

    What do you have against snowboarding, did you always dream of being a pro but you were garbage or something

    Reply
  • Illusive[Brick]

    Donald trumps been in court so many times that nearly every sketch artist has drawn him enough to where its almost muscle memory.

    Reply
  • cam ham

    i love the courtroom sketch its cool

    Reply
  • Swirl AndTwirl

    Yeah, why???

    Reply
  • burbon ­

    You don't need courtroom sketch artists – you need normal law.

    Reply
  • Fuck Justin Y.

    what do you have against snowboarders?

    Reply
  • AJ Ya Boi

    This video did nothing to explain why we still need court room sketch artists 🤦‍♂️

    Reply
  • Zaryab Kharal

    Snowboarder: *exists
    Vox: I'm about to end this man's whole career

    Reply
  • Dave

    Dipshits with gopros on their heads.

    So true.

    Reply
  • Dean Caulfield

    Cameras are a better illustration of the truth and always will be in comparison to artists. Keep the cameras. Ban the media. Simple! We do not need artists in courtrooms anymore. They even cut off when she was going to say “That’s where we make…our money”

    Reply
  • Max Bowen

    I remember the episode of the sopranos when uncle junior saw his court room sketch on tv

    Reply
  • cloud 90909

    Wasn’t this already an episode?

    Reply
  • ravenshireful

    Who subs this ?

    Reply
  • I am Alucard

    Why throw shade at snowboarders ?

    Reply
  • Angela P.

    The features are kind of off on darker people but she draws white people amazingly.

    Reply
  • ilyn Payne

    They say cameras are banned yet again we get to see that kid that fainted when he was sentenced to death 😡

    Reply
  • Mark O'Connor

    Wow why the hostility towards the snowboarders!?

    Reply
  • Tom H.

    Even if they dont antagonize him, they need him for the clicks even if he's irelevant to the topic.

    Reply
  • Leo Ming

    Lucian Freud's color style.

    Reply
  • Aleks B

    Wow OK somebody in vox does not like snowboarding

    Reply
  • Jefferson Andrade

    Why are they hating on snowboarder 😭

    Reply
  • Xiellion

    So they still do them because of (as always) governments inability to update and stay with the times

    Reply
  • Morahman7vnNo2

    Least it's giving skills artists work.

    Reply
  • Emmanuel Onwusiribe

    whats the beef with snowboarders

    Reply
  • Aram Badalyan

    Ok but why are snowboarders dipshits?

    Reply
  • Pendulous Testicularis

    Yeah. But why artists. Why not have a few still photographs?

    Reply
  • Dopamine

    Not gonna lie, I agree with him on the snowboarder thing

    Reply
  • tunacellis

    I feel bad for that snowboarder, what did he ever do to you vox?

    Reply
  • ruffdraft

    Interesting.

    Reply
  • TheCaptain008

    Whoa. What a weird attack on snowboarders about GoPros. Lol.

    Reply
  • Nick Lane

    Minnesota!!!!

    Reply
  • T J

    Just because it's recorded on camera, there's no reason to broadcast it. Lol, why would that be the immediate assumption just because it can be recorded for documentation archiving purposes. Judicial systems are so archaic and broken. GG

    Reply
  • Pandała

    creepy

    Reply
  • Ito Juji

    I too live in Minnesota

    Reply
  • Echoes Hurricane

    So our great grandchildren can write AP US history DBQs about them

    Reply
  • Bodbby

    shes been covering trials for HOW long

    Reply
  • Trevor Harrington

    But I dont think we need to see the drama of the courtroom, why would we? We only need the facts and what happened

    Reply
  • Kaycee Whitham

    Compassion for the boston bomber… nah im good.

    Reply
  • George Schlaline

    People it's 2019 not 1977. Use the cameras

    Reply
  • Dolce Luxe

    I fricken love her

    Reply
  • Esequiel Tovar

    Pictures should be allowed but not video

    Reply
  • Holbein Crâne

    I think criminal trials should be filmed in their entirity, but just by officials (who couldn't edit them), and with fix cameras filming the two partys, the judge and the jures, and the video and audio files should be public

    Reply
  • Random Dogface

    As a snowboarder I feel offended

    Reply
  • FelipeTheFirst

    The only thing I learned from this video is that Vox has some beef against snowboarders.

    Reply
  • Dave Otuwa

    too many photographic artists who made masterpieces before the advent of cameras

    Reply
  • Megatron Don

    Why she do diddy like that

    Reply
  • Zippy Thresher

    I enjoy the art style tbh

    Reply
  • Jacob Blackburn

    Vox is turning into buzzfeed

    Reply
  • Alex Matrious

    3:28 I felt that.

    Reply
  • Martin Almanza

    She even capture the scene of el chapo, I wanna draw like her artwork is.

    Reply
  • -

    Vox: Snowboarders are bad in bed.

    Reply
  • Nate Medeiros

    God y’all really hate trump don’t you?

    Reply
  • Yung Thick

    Or we could just have videotapes

    Reply
  • Mr Palmer

    Ok 👍

    Reply
  • Spanky Harland

    it would be better if all court room artist drew everything in stick figures comic book style…then more folks would actually pay attention to the case….simple appeals to simple simons, just keep it simple for the simpletons.

    Reply
  • Cameron

    I was surprised by the jab at snowboarders but appreciated it

    Reply
  • David Dyer

    Still recognize and love your work every time I see it, Christine!

    Reply
  • Matthew McCabe

    You can’t just call snowboarders dip****’s and not explain it

    Vox your not cool

    Reply
  • Annie Romero

    I heavily encourage cameras in the court room.

    Reply
  • Rodrigo Gonzalez

    Okayy well somebody's ex cheated on them with a snowboarder

    Reply
  • Ivo Pinheiro

    Truly an artist
    She does have a lot of dust on her furniture tho

    Reply
  • colette collette

    minnesota gang 😉

    Reply
  • Bobby Juju

    This lady is amazing.

    Reply
  • Gin Argent

    Is there a book of her art?

    Reply
  • 2Rivers

    Dude. Dipshits? C’mon homie

    Reply
  • Apri Swajaya

    I'm a skier and I love this video so much, don't even know what it's about, something about painting?

    Reply
  • Happy Wheels

    Your not supposed to make it more dramatic your supposed to draw what you see

    Reply
  • Łucid pauł

    Meow

    Reply
  • Nora Hunt

    Her drawings are incredible! She captures each person's likeness so well. She's very well spoken, too. Great video!

    Reply
  • The Wolf

    Its funny how Snowflakes doesn’t like Snowboarders . lol

    Reply
  • Sammy Pater

    Someone got dumped by a snowboarder

    Reply
  • Phaeton

    6ix9ines court room drawing tho 😂😂😂😂😂

    Reply
  • kaz smith

    Is She drawing 69’s trial

    Reply
  • Pootie

    Did she do 69

    Reply
  • Joaquin Augusto

    the problem is that the media distorts the image but even worst the actor can create it

    Reply
  • Dominick Thornhill

    Had to pause the video 0:38 to check the comments… didnt fail to impress me…

    Reply
  • Dwight Schute

    Thats what cameras are for

    Reply
  • LZeroT

    Her face and posture are very simular to Billie Eilish's 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *