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Secret Justice
Access to Terrorism Proceedings

Gauthier, Ashley

Publisher:  The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Year Published:  2002  
Resource Type:  Article

The American judicial system has, historically, been open to the public, and the U.S. Supreme Court has continually affirmed the presumption of openness. However, as technology expands and as the perceived threat of violence grows, individual courts attempt to keep control over proceedings by limiting the flow of information. Courts are reluctant to allow media access to certain cases or to certain proceedings, like jury selection. Courts routinely impose gag orders to limit public discussion about pending cases, presuming that there is no better way to ensure a fair trial. Many judges fear that having cameras in courtrooms will somehow interfere with the decorum and solemnity of judicial proceedings.

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