Trials by TV: The most infamous trials on television

Amanda Knox reacts after her verdict in the killing of British student Meredith Kercher was announced at a court in Perugia
Amanda Knox reacts after her verdict in the killing of British student Meredith Kercher was announced at a court in Perugia Photo: Reuters/Tiziana Fabi/Pool

As a Scottish court become the first to allow cameras to film procedure, a look back at some of the most infamous trials to be shown on television elsewhere in the world:

American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito were both cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in a court appearance which was beamed live around the world.

After spending four years in an Italian prison the 24-year old was released in October 2011.

The trial Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman is still one of the most hotly debated legal cases. However at the culmination of what was popularly called the "trial of the century" was found not guilty and released.

In 1997 Louise Woodward, a British au pair working in the U.S. was found guilty of shaking her charge, baby Matthew Eappen to death.

In a memorable statement to the judge and jury Assistant District Attorney Gerald Leone gave an impassioned impression of the force Louise was accused of using against the child.

The jury found her guilty of second-degree murder and she faced a sentence of a minimum of 15 years to life in prison under Massachusetts' law. However at appeal her conviction was reduced to involuntary manslaughter and her sentence reduced to time served and she was released.

Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was sentenced to the death penalty by the Iraqi Special Tribunal in 2006.

He was hanged just under two months later on the 30 December 2006.

Iraqi state TV showed Hussein being led to the gallows in a building his intelligence services once used for executions.

However the moment of his execution was not shown. Pictures of his body wrapped in a shroud were later also broadcast on TV.

I fear that if we go down this road at all we shall find showbusiness entering the courts. We'll have something akin to reality television. We'll have trials covered at the Old Bailey that will lead the public to believe that's what justice is about. That is not what justice is about. Justice is serious business.

– Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale