Minnesota looking into broader remote coverage of courts

The state of Minnesota is looking into expanding remote coverage of court proceedings, after a test run of sorts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In asking a committee to study the issue, the state Supreme Court noted Thursday that remote technology and livestreaming in the last year "provided increased transparency and accessibility at a time when physical access to court facilities was limited" because of the coronavirus. Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea said the time is right to consider broader access to proceedings.

"The time is right to consider whether the current requirements for audio and video coverage of criminal proceedings in courtrooms should be amended to accommodate broader public access," Gildea said.

The rules on audio and video coverage were last updated in 2018.

The committee, which is composed of judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, will file a report with recommendations by July 1, 2022. A public comment period is typically held once the report has been filed and before the Supreme Court adopts any permanent rule changes.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.