Letter: Yolo on Forefront of Public Access To Courts

by Nora Oldwin

As vocal members of the public, we have demanded transparency and accountability of local governmental entities. We have been critical of the lack of both in our criminal justice system. We know that in times of fear, constitutional rights are at risk. However, we are proud of our court’s innovations and we wish to give credit where credit is due.

Yolo County Courts are at the forefront in complying with the sixth amendment’s guarantee to the accused of a public trial. Given the present orders for physical distancing, the courts are providing accessibility to court proceedings by broadcasting them in real time via YouTube. This allows for a public audience, including family and loved ones of the victims and the accused, who cannot be at the court in person. Anyone can access the streaming proceedings by searching YouTube.

We thank the Yolo County Courts for protecting the rights of the accused to public hearings, and for ensuring the public’s continued rights to transparency and accountability with respect to these proceedings during the current pandemic.

Submitted on behalf of Yolo People Power and the Yolo chapter of the ACLU

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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