The San Diego Superior Court began livestreaming criminal court proceedings Wednesday on its YouTube page in order to provide public access during the court's COVID-19-related closures.
While county courthouses remain shuttered to the public until at least May 26, criminal proceedings have been ongoing for defendants who remain in custody.
In an order signed Tuesday, Presiding Judge Lorna A. Alksne wrote that while public health concerns require the courts to remain closed, livestreaming proceedings would be permitted "in an effort to provide expanded public access to court proceedings consistent with (the court's) Sixth Amendment responsibilities."
Currently, livestreaming access is available for a select number of departments at the downtown San Diego courthouse, with only audio available.
Alksne's order says the livestreaming will be in effect through May 22, the last day San Diego courts are slated to remain closed to the public.
Judges will have the discretion to "refuse, limit, or terminate such broadcasts, in whole or in part," the order states.
The order also prohibits any viewers from photographing, recording, or rebroadcasting anything without judicial authorization, a rule already in effect when courthouses were open to the public.