Top of page

Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Aggie Kenny. King's County Hospital, "Son of Sam" (David Berkowitz), Hearing on His Ability to Stand Trial, October 20, 1977. Watercolor and ink on white paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (029.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51008 © Aggie Kenny
Gift of Tom Girardi

Hearings Outside the Courtroom

Not all hearings take place in courtrooms. On October 20, 1977, Aggie Kenny recorded proceedings in the David Berkowitz trial, which was held in the psychiatric ward of King's County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York: Judge's ruling against a closed hearing, People v. Berkowitz, 93 Misc. 2d 873 (1978). Berkowitz is shown with his attorney Ira Jultak, listening to psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Schwarz. Kenny heard Berkowitz respond to the doctor, and later noted, "In as much as we artists are not cameras and are unable to capture events frame by frame, I try to record moments that tell the story." Berkowitz received a 365-year sentence after pleading guilty to the Son of Sam murders. After being denied parole in 2016, he was transferred to the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, New York.