Hartford Courant files federal First Amendment lawsuit over Connecticut juvenile law that makes court cases secret

Hartford Courant
December 11, 2019

The Hartford Courant filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit Wednesday to overturn a new Connecticut law that the newspaper says violates the speech and open government rights of the press and public by closing courtrooms and keeping records secret when some teenagers are charged with the most serious felonies, such as murder, armed robbery and rape.

Child advocates said Wednesday that the benefits to society of protecting the privacy of teens who are accused but not convicted of a serious felony is greater than the rights of the public and press to know everything that happens in the courts.

“I am sensitive to first amendment issues but I think they are outweighed by the need for the confidentiality of juveniles,” Martha Stone, Executive Director Center for Children’s Advocacy in Hartford.

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