Bill Robles' drawing of O.J. Simpson, during his December 1996 civil trial.
One artistic calling requiring ink, pastels and watercolors has persisted even as cameras have become more and more ubiquitous. Courtroom illustrators continue to document history where cameras are banned.
Artists are brought in to cover trials for the news media when cameras are forbidden from the courtroom. During the 1984 drug trial of automobile manufacturer John DeLorean, courtroom artist Elizabeth Williams drew a self-portrait with a row of her colleagues covering the trial. From left: Walt Stewart, Bill Robles, Bill Lignante, Howard Brodie, David Rose and Williams.
"Courtroom art is really not very creative; it's really much more factual," said artist Elizabeth Williams, who has sketched many a sketchy person. "But that's what it is. It's not intended to be creative. It's intended to inform."
Often the most newsworthy moments are the most fleeting, such as when financier Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme bilked billions out of investors, was handcuffed and ushered out of a courtroom by federal marshals. It all happened so fast, Williams almost missed it.
When one of Madoff's victims saw the drawing and said, "That's just what I wanted to see," Williams replied, "That's right. That's why I drew it."
Courtroom artist Howard Brodie caught Jack Ruby just before the verdict was read at his trial in Dallas, March 14, 1964. Brodie's inscription read: "Adams apple quivered - he gulped just before sentence."
James Earl Ray
Aggie Kenny documented James Earl Ray in 1974, when the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr attempted to recant his earlier guilty plea.
Bill Robles' drawing of hippie cult leader Charles Manson, during the 1970 Tate-LaBianca murder trial in Los Angeles, appears to stare straight out at the viewer.
"Yeah, he got into stares with all the media," Robles said. "There he is with the X carved [in his forehead], which he eventually turned into a swastika."
On October 5, 1970, during the Tate-LaBianca murder trial in Los Angeles, Charles Manson lunged for Judge Charles H. Older, only to be taken down by a court officer.
"All of a sudden, Manson, he hollered, 'Somebody has to cut your head off old man!' And he leaped," said Bill Robles. "Before I knew it, the bailiff tackled him in midair. That's when your drawing ability comes in. You literally have to freeze the moment."
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
In Marilyn Church's drawing, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is pictured on the stand being questioned by attorney Marvin Mitchelson, with judge Irving Ben Cooper presiding over the trial of paparazzi photographer Ron Galella, March 2, 1982.
Colored pencil, water soluable crayon and porous point pen on ochre Canson paper.
Son of Sam
David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" killer, screams obscenities as guards struggle to drag him from the courtroom during his appearance for sentencing on May 22, 1978. "I will kill them all," he shouted. Porous point pen, blue ink, and opaque white on gray paper.
Patty Hearst, seated, at a court hearing in Los Angeles.
When asked whether a courtroom illustrator is a journalist or an artist, Bill Robles replied, "You have to think like a journalist, but you're an artist."
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
Paul Newman reads and Joanne Woodward knits in court during the Newman's Salad Dressing trial in June 1988.
"These are just moments that elude us if artists don't capture them," said Sara Duke, curator of an exhibition at the Library of Congress called "Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration."
Artist Marilyn Church caught mob boss John Gotti staring at her at his 1992 trial.
"Preppy Killer" Trial
During deliberations in the 1986 murder trial of "Preppy Killer" Robert Chambers, the jury asked the court reporter to re-read testimony about the murder of Jennifer Levin, who was choked to death in Central Park.
Matthew Shepard Murder Trial
Pat Lopez depicted Lt. Dennis Adler and prosecutor Cal Rerucha as they stretched out the chain used in the murder of Matthew Shepard, as defendant Russell Henderson (seated) looks on, at the Albany County District Court in Laramie, Wyoming in 1999. Henderson plead guilty and testified against fellow defendant Aaron McKinney. Both were sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.
Rapper P. Diddy (second from right) appears with his entourage in New York State Supreme Court in October 2000.
Bill Robles' sketch of Ted Kaczynski, the "Unabomber."
A courtroom sketch by Marilyn Church made during the February 2004 trial of Martha Stewart. Colored pencil and water-soluble crayon on ochre paper.
Bill Robles depicted singer Michael Jackson during his trial for child molestation in Santa Monica, Calif., March 15, 2005. Color porous point pen and India ink on translucent paper.
Boston Marathon Bomber
Jane Rosenberg's drawing shows FBI agent Sarah De Lair holding up the shredded remains of a black backpack during the Boston Marathon Bombing trial of defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (seated at bottom center). Color pastels on ochre Canson paper.
The exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration, featuring more than five decades of courtroom sketches, is at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. through December 30, 2017.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan