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James Holmes will face formal charges on Monday for the Colorado movie theater shooting for which he is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. The event, however, will not be televised.
A request to allow extended media coverage in the courtroom during James Holmes formal charges hearing that will take Monday was put in last Tuesday, July 24, and denied. Extended media would include allowing audio, video, and still photography during the hearing.
The request was denied after considering that extended media coverage could result in Holmes not getting a fair trial. Adverse effects to the case and a distraction from the necessary "solemnity" of the hearing were also cited as reasons.
Last week an unknown source leaked information regarding a package that Holmes had sent to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado. Aside from hearing formal charges, attorneys also plan on inquiring about what source leaked the information. Holmes' attorneys are expected to argue that Holmes was mentally insane when he committed the crimes.
The lack of media coverage is a hot button for critics, though, who believe they have the right to witness the trial. The trial is by public access, which means that anyone can attend the proceedings, but some argue that due to the large impact of the case, a larger audience should be afforded.
Others explained that extended media coverage can turn formal court proceedings into more of a circus than a trial.
"If this were televised, it would become closer to 'entertainment' than to fair, legal proceedings. It becomes a human interest story rather than a legitimate court case, where the focus is on moral retribution rather than fair application of the law," the iDebate.org site stated in consideration of any general court case.
Another argument pointed out that in court cameras and live coverage could actually reduce the amount of media sensationalism regarding the case. It was also stated that in-person access severely limits those who have to work and cannot attend the hearing. Limited seating is often an issue as well.