Cohen: The problem with claiming a ‘witness safety’ exception to the First Amendment
From The Week: The concept of a public trial is at the heart of the Bill of Rights. It’s right there in the Sixth Amendment, right next to the part about impartial juries. It’s right there in the First Amendment, too, right there in the part about the freedom of the press.
And yet, our public trials are often not nearly as public as we think.
For instance, in Colorado, there’s a remarkable case that is forcing judges to balance in an unprecedented way the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and media organizations with a much more practical right — the right of witnesses to be protected from violence before and after they testify against alleged murderers.