South Dakota Supreme Court Expands Media Access in Courtrooms

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By Andrew Gauthier Comment

The South Dakota Supreme Court has approved new rules that will expand media access in courtrooms.

The new rules stipulate that audio recordings are permitted upon a judge’s approval and still and video cameras will be allowed if both the prosecution and defense, as well as the judge, agree to allow them.  The court’s ruling is seen as a compromise between the state’s judges and local media outlets, which had pushed for video cameras only having to pass a judge’s approval.

“We believe this is a middle path between an outright ban and total access,” said Supreme Court Justice David Gilbertson. “We need to balance a person’s right to a fair trial with the public access to the legal proceedings.”

“We are very encouraged by this decision,” said RTDNA Chairman Mark Kraham. “It’s certainly a step in the right direction in giving the citizens of South Dakota and the United States a chance to take a closer look at the U.S. legal system.”

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