There are dozens, if not hundreds of people who want to sit in the Arapahoe County Justice Center courtroom where the James Holmes preliminary hearing is taking place. So many people, in fact, that the overflow (well over 200) will be in two large rooms in the courthouse watching on video monitors. One of those overflow rooms is only for victims and their families. However, if you want seating in a public area, what are the qualifications for you to attend?
Watching Court Proceedings
You can watch any court proceeding in any courthouse, with the exception of “closed” hearings in family or probate court. Watching court proceedings is your right, part of the constitutional rights to a “public trial” (both the public and the accused are said to have a right to a public trial).
Arapahoe County Justice Center’s Seating Capacity
However, the courthouse where this is being held is 26 years old, and it does not have the seating capacity to accomodate public interest and media demands. In fact, courthouses in general are not designed with gymnasium- sized rooms for the occasional, spectacular cases with international public interest. I can tell you that the parking and security concerns for this event are huge. The courthouse built additional parking just for the media that will jam the east side of the parking lot with trucks that have satellite dishes attached to the top.
Where to send the overflow? Some have mentioned that the Denver Convention Center or the Denver Merchandise Mart would offer adequate seating and facilities for such overflow seating. Perhaps the issue of adequate gun control would quell such discussions.
Colorado personal injury attorney Shaun Kaufman prides himself on research, writing and staying on top of new and old legal ideas.
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