The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday strengthened the right to public criminal trials, ruling in a Georgia case that jury voir dire proceedings should be open to defendants and to the public.

In an unsigned 7-2 ruling in Presley v. Georgia (pdf), the high court also said that a trial judge has a duty to seek alternatives that will preserve openness even when, for example, it appears that there are so many prospective jurors in the courtroom that there are not enough seats for the public.

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