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Idaho State News

State v. Kohberger: New Courtroom Conduct Order

Photo by Monroe County Correctional Facility

The courtroom conduct order issued in State v. Kohberger has been amended, making tweaks that include alignment with a November order regarding cameras in the courtroom.

The amended order, now available here and on the Cases of Interest website, provides for livestreaming of public hearings through Judge John Judge’s YouTube channel using court equipment as an alternative to third-party cameras in the courtroom. The conduct order allows for capture and use, but not alteration of court livestream footage. The order also addresses proceedings that will not be livestreamed.


No other video or audio recording or photography is permitted in the courtroom per the amended order. Space remains reserved outside of the courthouse for news standups or interviews.


Livestreaming is provided in addition to in-person access to public proceedings in this case. As before, courtroom seating for the media and public remains first-come, first-serve. Cell phones may be carried into the courtroom, but as in previous orders they must be turned off.


In a change from previous orders, laptops and similar devices may be used for note-taking in the courtroom, but cannot be used “to email, chat, record, or transmit audio, images, or written accounts of the proceedings to platforms such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), lnstagram, YouTube, blogs, or other similar platforms or websites while inside of the courtroom,” the new order states.


The introduction to the order states: “The court is mindful of the need to balance: ( l) the constitutional right of the Defendant to a fair hearing; (2) the public’s right to information in conjunction with the constitutional and statutory rights of the media to attend the proceedings; (3) the court’s interest in maintaining order and an environment that permits all participants to focus on their responsibilities without undue distractions; and (4) the court’s interest in the safety of the public and court personnel.”


Hearings scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26, will be the first to operate under the new camera arrangement.


Per an order issued last month, the court that day will hold hearings on a “Motion to Reconsider Orders Denying Motions to Dismiss Indictment and in the Alternative for Permission to Appeal from Interlocutory Orders and Stay of Proceedings.” The first of these hearings at 11 a.m. will be sealed per the explanation provided in the order. The second of these hearings at 1 p.m. will be open to the public and will be streamed.


Following those hearings on the same day, the court will hold a scheduling conference. This will also be open to the public and will be streamed.