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Nothing in these guidelines shall be construed, however, to limit the powers of the courts to maintain decorum by ordering unruly spectators removed from the courtroom, or by reasonably limiting the number of spectators, or by exercising similar powers of judges at common law, nor shall anything in these guidelines require a judge to exclude the general public from any such proceedings if, after considering such matter, the trial court concludes that permitting the general public to be present will not create a substantial likelihood of injury or damage to the accused's right to a fair hearing. The fact that an accused or other witness may be embarrassed or be subject to public ridicule by reason of the public being present shall not be grounds upon which to close such matters, it being the intention of these guidelines to prescribe extremely limited situations under which courts shall be closed to the general public and otherwise establish a general policy of permitting courts to be open to the general public, consistent with the accused's constitutional rights to a fair hearing.
This page was last modified on Wednesday, October 24, 2012