Criminal Trial Have To Be Open To The Public
The sixth amendment of the United States Constitution (U.S. Const., amend. VI) guarantees the accused the right to a public trial, and this right extends to voir dire of prospective jurors.
A violation of this right falls into the limited category of “structural errors,” which require automatic reversal without the need to show prejudice.
To justify closing a trial proceeding, the court examines:
(i) whether there exists an overriding interest that is likely to be prejudiced,
(ii) whether the closure is no broader than necessary to protect that interest,
(iii) whether the trial court considered “ ‘reasonable alternatives to closing the proceeding, and
(iv) whether the trial court made adequate findings to support the closure.