Should Criminal Court Proceedings Be Publicized? Essay

2615 Words Jul 8th, 2015 11 Pages
Should criminal court proceedings be publicized?
What makes court “public” under the law? The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes the right of the accused to a public trial. A person that is accused of a criminal offense has the right to a public trial under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The accused can sometimes waive their right to a public trial, but they can not force or oblige to a private trial. The Sixth Amendment requires that, within reason, members of the public and press have the opportunity to attend the trial. They may also report what they have observed. Courtrooms have been open to the public for a while, and anyone who wants to watch a trial can, as long as there are seats available. There are notices that are open to the public of court proceedings. In most jurisdictions, court notices are published in the official “legal organ” of the city or county, such as a newspaper, at least a week in advance of the hearing. The general public and media have a First Amendment interest in open court proceedings, these rights are secondary to the interests of the parties to the case. Not all cases are publicized or covered by the media and not all states allow cameras in the courtroom. Trials must be held in places where the public can attend, spectators must be allowed in the courtroom. The Sixth Amendment doesn’t require that trials occur in places easily accessible to the public. For example, in the trial of an inmate charged…

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