Let's hope that's the result. We really don't have a long enough history of the ways in which the press has interfered with trial verdicts to know.
In today's world, the chances of us getting all the details of this case (the allowed details) are small, for any particular detail. Those of us who really make it a daily habit to TRY and capture the details in this case still get things wrong.
There's a fine balance between allowing rampant speculation that he is innocent (sometimes by bizarre theories) and gagging people who actually know the facts (prosecution; defense; LE, etc).
Generally, public policy on this subject is driven by the Constitutional rights to a fair and public trial before an impartial tribunal v the freedom of the press. See, Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, 464 U.S. 501 (1984)
, which rejected a court order closing the voir dire
proceedings before a trial, and stated the general rule how courts should balancing openness with other proceedings:
"Closed proceedings, although not absolutely precluded, must be rare and only for cause shown that outweighs the value of openness. The presumption of openness may be overcome only by an overriding interest based on findings that closure is essential to preserve higher values and is narrowly tailored to serve that interest."
So, the hearings will all be open, as will documents filed in court for the most part.
The rule as to proceedings does not extend to criminal justice records
in every jurisdiction, however. See, In Re Sir Mario Owens, 2018 CO 55 (2018),
(SCOTUS denied review in 2018). Different state laws set the balance on these records differently.
The Idaho Public Records Act
restricts access to law enforcement records on the following grounds:
"Section 74-124. EXEMPTIONS FROM DISCLOSURE — CONFIDENTIALITY.
(1) Notwithstanding any statute or rule of court to the contrary, nothing in this chapter nor chapter 10, title 59
, Idaho Code, shall be construed to require disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes by a law enforcement agency, but such exemption from disclosure applies only to the extent that the production of such records would:
(a) Interfere with enforcement proceedings;
(b) Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;
(c) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(d) Disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement agency in the course of a criminal investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source;
(e) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures;
(f) Endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel; or
(g) Disclose the identity of a reporting party maintained by any law enforcement entity or the department of health and welfare relating to the investigation of child abuse, neglect or abandonment unless the reporting party consents in writing to the disclosure or the disclosure of the reporting party’s identity is required in any administrative or judicial proceeding."