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Old 09-29-2015, 06:48 AM
 
576 posts, read 930,041 times
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Are trials, open to the general public? Obviously, some that are notorious, are stated that they are closed .. or they hand out tickets. Casey Anthony comes to mind.

But, as a rule, .. are they open to the general public?

There is a trial that is upcoming locally that I would be interested in. I don't know any of the folks involved.

It's just been of interest to me, as I've seen the news stories and watched as it moved along to where it's about to go to trial.

This struck my interest, one morning early, before daylight, as I headed to work, and had to detour and found the road closed where I enter to go to work, cordoned off by police presence.

Turned out that a murder had occurred. A local young man, from a wealthy local family, sits in jail, accused of murdering a prostitute he was with.

I have never been to any trial, and so I might find it all very boring, don't know.

But just wondered if I would even be allowed to attend, as just a member of the general public.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:25 AM
 
Location: USA
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I think they are open to the public.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
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I doubt there is any hard-and-fast-rule.
Seems like it would be up to the Judge and the lawyers.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:27 AM
 
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The big trials are always packed. No way all those are only family and victims. I can't think of one offhand that has been closed. Some don't allow cameras or video, but I can't think of any where the public wasn't allowed to attend, tho there are probably exceptions.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
42,507 posts, read 56,515,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LillyLillyLilly View Post
The big trials are always packed. No way all those are only family and victims. I can't think of one offhand that has been closed. Some don't allow cameras or video, but I can't think of any where the public wasn't allowed to attend, tho there are probably exceptions.
^^^Correct. Here is some good info on the subject. Criminal Trial Publicity | Nolo.com
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:09 PM
 
7,358 posts, read 10,825,019 times
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Originally Posted by Redraven View Post
I doubt there is any hard-and-fast-rule.
Seems like it would be up to the Judge and the lawyers.
It's strictly up to the judge. All court proceedings are normally public, but if they're putting a child rape victim or someone similar on the stand and they want to help them get through testifying without collapsing, the judge can order the courtroom cleared.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:58 PM
 
7,086 posts, read 4,249,054 times
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Originally Posted by nnyl View Post

I have never been to any trial, and so I might find it all very boring, don't know.
.
I find traffic court pretty darn interesting. People watching at its best!
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:48 PM
 
576 posts, read 930,041 times
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Thanks for the replies. I don't know if I'll actually have the nerve to go. I guess maybe if I knew someone involved, and had any official "business" being there. But I don't (thankfully) know anyone involved.

It just peaked my interest when trying to get to work one early morning before daylight. Found the road that I turn onto to reach my employment, blocked off with heavy police presence (there is a hotel on the road). I had to detour in order to get to my job that day. So, of course, I wondered what in the world must've happened. Saw local news media there reporting. So I tuned in later, and learned that there had been a prostitute stabbed to death and another prostitute almost murdered. Later that day, an arrest was made. A local fairly well-to-do family, their son, under arrest.

Just tragic, all the way around.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:10 PM
 
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Trials are generally open to the public and seating is on a first come, first served basis as long as the occupancy limit is not exceeded. It is pretty unusual for a judge to close a courtroom.
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:30 PM
 
7,358 posts, read 10,825,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnyl View Post
Thanks for the replies. I don't know if I'll actually have the nerve to go. I guess maybe if I knew someone involved, and had any official "business" being there. But I don't (thankfully) know anyone involved.

It just peaked my interest when trying to get to work one early morning before daylight. Found the road that I turn onto to reach my employment, blocked off with heavy police presence (there is a hotel on the road). I had to detour in order to get to my job that day. So, of course, I wondered what in the world must've happened. Saw local news media there reporting. So I tuned in later, and learned that there had been a prostitute stabbed to death and another prostitute almost murdered. Later that day, an arrest was made. A local fairly well-to-do family, their son, under arrest.

Just tragic, all the way around.
I want to repeat: a lot of the people in court on any given day have no business being there. Court is public, and courtwatching is one of the great free spectator sports.
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