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Judge bans cameras from Peterson hearing

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Judge bans cameras from Peterson hearing

  • A Superior court judge said that televising the proceedings is not “necessary to the process;” earlier the judge said that the proceedings would be open to the press and public.

Aug. 18, 2003 — California Superior Court Judge Al Girolami in Modesto decided Friday that television cameras would not be permitted during a preliminary hearing in the murder trial of Scott Peterson, citing privacy concerns of the victim’s family.

“While there is clearly a presumptive right of the public to attend the preliminary hearing in this matter, that right does not mandate the presence of cameras in the courtroom, televising these passionate proceedings is not . . . necessary to the process,” Girolami wrote in his decision, which was released today.

Peterson was arrested in April after the remains of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son were found on a San Francisco Bay beach. Peterson has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Thursday, Girolami denied a defense motion judge to close the preliminary hearing to the public. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9.

(Peterson v. Superior Court; Media counsel: Rochelle Wilcox, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Los Angeles) JL

© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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