British crew visits Vidalia to film defense attorney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – It’s unusual for cameras to be present in Judge Leo Boothe’s courtroom — but having a British documentary crew filming the proceedings just may be a first.

A producer and camerawoman from Britain’s ITN Channel 4 were present during the preliminary hearing of Stephen Alfred Jackson to film footage for a documentary on his attorney, Clive A. Stafford Smith.

Smith &uot;has quite a reputation&uot; for winning death penalty cases, said Producer David Smith. And the fact that Smith, now based in New Orleans, is from Cambridge, England, doesn’t hurt either, Smith said.

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&uot;We know him back there&uot; in Britain, Smith said.

The ITN camera caught much of Wednesday’s proceedings, although Boothe, a Seventh Judicial District Judge, did take a short recess to review the tape.

This morning, the crew will follow Smith back to his office in New Orleans, where he is currently based, and will then fly back to their home office — in Washington, D.C.