- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona appellate court has ruled that state court rules allowing trial witnesses to be excluded from the courtroom while other witnesses testify aren’t unconstitutional.

A man convicted in Greenlee County Superior Court of sexual conduct with a minor and of sexual abuse had argued that it violated his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial to have certain family members excluded from the courtroom.

However, the ruling Friday by a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals in Tucson says the exclusion rules don’t undermine the policy foundations for the public trial requirement.

Those considerations include improving the quality of testimony, inducing unknown witnesses to come forward and giving the public an opportunity to observe the judicial system.

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