Right To Public Trial Is To Protect Defendant

1979

In Gannett Co. v. DePasquale, the U.S. Supreme Court denies a claim by members of the press and public who were barred from a pretrial hearing in a criminal case. The Court rules that extensive pretrial publicity threatened the defendant’s ability to get a fair trial. The Court holds that the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial is first and foremost for the benefit of the defendant and does not give the press or public an absolute right to attend criminal trials.