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The right of the public and press to attend criminal trials is guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Absent an overriding interest articulated in findings, the trial of a criminal case must be open to the public. 


Throughout its evolution, the trial has been open to all who cared to observe. In the days before the Norman conquest, cases in England were generally brought before moots, such as the local court of the hundred or the county court, which were attended by the freemen of the community. Pollock, English Law Before the Norman Conquest, in 1 Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History 88, 89 (1907). Somewhat like modern jury duty, attendance at these early meetings was compulsory on the part of the freemen, who were called upon to render judgment. Id. at 89-90; see also 1 W. Holdsworth, A History of English Law 10, 12 (1927). That there is little in the way of a contemporary record from this period is not surprising. It has been noted by historians, see E. Jenks, A Short History of English Law 3-4 (2d ed.1922), that the early Anglo-Saxon laws 'deal rather with the novel and uncertain than with the ...

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