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South Dakota Supreme Court Expands Media Access in Courtrooms

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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