01A

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

Arkansas

The Supreme Court of Arkansas upheld Article 2, § 10, of the Arkansas Constitution, which “provides that an accused in a criminal prosecution shall ‘enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.’” Commercial Printing Co. v. Lee, 553 S.W.2d 270, 273 (Ark. 1977). The case goes further to say, “After all, members of the public have an interest in the trial of one charged with a felony, for a crime is a wrong against the public, and affects every citizen.” Id. That right to access is not absolute, however.

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

Louisiana

In Louisiana, there is a constitutional right of access to judicial proceedings, both civil and criminal. Article 1, § 22 of the Louisiana Constitution states: “All courts shall be open.” As to criminal trials, article 1, § 16 of the Louisiana Constitution states: “Every person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to a speedy, public, and impartial trial.” (Emphasis added.).

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

New York

See, e.g., Courtroom Television Network LLC v. State, 5 N.Y.3d 222, 231, 833 N.E.2d 1197 (2005):

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

MASTER

The U.S. Supreme Court consistently has recognized that the public and press have a presumptive First Amendment right of access to judicial proceedings in criminal cases, finding that “a presumption of openness inheres in the very nature of a criminal trial under our system of justice.” Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 573 (1980) (plurality opinion).

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

Oklahoma

Even before Richmond Newspapers, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals had recognized the presumptive openness of judicial proceedings and the functional values served by openness in Lyles v. State, 1958 OK CR 79, 330 P.2d 734 (rejecting claim of appellant that television coverage of trial had denied him a fair trial), and Neal v. State, 86 OK CR 283, 192 P.2d 294 (exclusion of public from trial was prejudicial error). Richmond Newspapers and the Press Enterprise cases have been cited and applied by the Oklahoma courts in a variety of contexts.