Virus cut access to courts but opened door to virtual future

Courts across the U.S. are still grappling with how to balance public health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic with the right to a public trial.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In some high-profile cases, such as R. Kelly’s sex trafficking trial, judges cited COVID-19 precautions as a reason to bar the press and public from the courtroom.

During jury selection for Ahmaud Arbery’s accused killers, only a limited number of reporters were allowed inside. But the shift toward greater use of internet video conferences also has had an upside for access in certain circumstances.

Courts say Zoom sessions save travel time and money, and allow people to view court proceedings when they otherwise would be unable to.

Categories: Coronavirus, National News