public trial

Term "public trial" contemplated by Constitution (Amend. VI) is a trial which is not secret, one that the public is free to attend. To a great extent, it is a relative term and its meaning depends largely on circumstances of each particular case. Hampton v. People, 171 Colo. 153, 465 P.2d 394, 399. Court session which is "public" is also "open", and, therefore, under normal conditions, a "public trial" is one which is open to general public at all times. People v. Valenzuela, 259 C.A.2d 826, 66 Cal.Rptr. 825, 829.
Although the right of public access to criminal trials is of constitutional stature, it is not absolute. Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 581 n. 18, 100 S.Ct. 2814, 65 L.Ed.2d 973.
However, the circumstances under which the press and public can be barred from a criminal trial are limited. Where the state attempts to deny the right of access in order to inhibit the disclosure of sensitive information, it must be shown that the denial is necessitated by a compelling governmental interest and is narrowly tailored to serve that interest. Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court for Norfolk County, 457 U.S. 596, 606, 607, 102 S.Ct. 2613, 2620, 73 L.Ed.2d 248
+ public trial
A trial held in public, in the presence of the public, or in a place accessible and open to the attendance of the public at large, or of persons who may properly be admitted. The Sixth Amendment, U.S. Const., affords the accused the right to a speedy and "public" trial.
See, however, trial by news media.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Look at other dictionaries:

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