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Derek Chauvin trial: The power of televising from the courtroom


The trial of Derek Chauvin wasn’t going to be broadcast. Minnesota trials never are. It took a pandemic and a decision by Judge Peter Cahill to change that over the objections of the prosecution. Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office argued that televising the hearings live might intimidate the witnesses, making them hesitant to testify. A coalition of news outlets, the defense, and, ultimately, Cahill disagreed.

Members of the public usually have the right to observe courtroom proceedings. It’s typically also safe for a crowd to gather peacefully in a courtroom, or in an overflow room with closed-circuit TVs. But we’re not living in normal times, and this is not a normal trial.

In requesting the change to the Minnesota…



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