Expert says Albany judge's ruling was wrong -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Expert says Albany judge's ruling was wrong

By Ben Roberts - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Dougherty Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall kept the doors to the courtroom locked as lawyers questioned jurors in former Albany Downtown Manger Don Buie's theft trial. She refused to tell us why she closed the courtroom.

Augusta attorney David Hudson, the general counsel for the Georgia Press Association, says a Georgia Supreme Court ruling in 1982 made it clear that all proceedings must be open. Hudson said, "All parts of a criminal trial must be open to the public . . . pre-trial hearings, jury selection, actual trial, post-trial motions and hearings, sentencing, all of it has to be open."

Hudson said in order to close any part of a case, a judge must have an open hearing that proves there are extraordinary reasons why the public should be kept out. The judge then must issue a written ruling. Judge Marshall did none of that.

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