Supreme Judicial Court, January 8, 2014

A judge’s decision, requiring members of the public to sign-in and provide identification before attending a criminal trial, did not amount to a courtroom closure that would implicate the defendant’s constitutional right to a public trial.  However, there is a presumption of openness of court rooms and if a judge wishes to make this requirement “there must be an articulable risk of witness intimidation or court room disruption (or a comparable reason) that warrants the imposition of this condition on entry.”