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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Some new buildings in Columbus are higher than the Bartholomew County Courthouse, which means people can look down into courtrooms, so they're spending $8,000 on tinted windows. Is this a legitimate expenditure or the wasting of taxpayer money on paranoid fears?

Commissioner Paul Franke said judges worried that those perches "gave too much of a full view" of the interiors of courtrooms on the courthouse's second and third floors.

Superior Court Judge Chris Monroe said that during a jury trial last year, the defendant and other men seemed to be looking toward the courthouse from the parking garage's roof while the jury was deliberating.

"We couldn't really tell what they were trying to do, so we were concerned," Monroe said.

Circuit Court Judge Stephen Heimann acknowledged that the courthouse windows were tinted for security purposes, but he declined to discuss why he thought the tinting was necessary.

Well, my guess is they were trying to look into the courtroom. If I were there myself, I'd probably try to look in, too . Since most trials are public and I would be able to actually attend the trial, both seeing and hearing what happened, I'm not exactly sure what the security concerns are, and it's not surprising the judge "declined to discuss" why the tinting was necessary. Maybe there's no constitutional right to gawk, but staring into a public building isn't exactly the crime of the century.


Bob G.
Mon, 07/26/2010 - 2:37pm

I might be OK with having the court room widows TINTED...BUT, if he decides to put some "24s" on the jury box and install a 200 Db stereo in there...I'd JUST have to draw the line.