Maryland journalists challenge ban on broadcasting criminal court procedures

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FOR BALTIMORE-BASED INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST Amelia McDonell-Parry, the Baltimore City courtroom audio captured during Keith Davis Jr.’s previous trials isn’t just a series of recordings. It’s the key to helping audiences understand why Davis, who was shot by Baltimore police in 2015 after he was wrongfully identified as a robbery suspect, is being tried yet again for a murder he says he didn’t commit.

“Each time that the state has failed to get a conviction for this man, they have continued to press onward,” McDonell-Parry says. “And since the case has gone to trial so many times, there’s an abundance of audio.”

But under Maryland’s Code of Criminal Procedure, McDonell-Parry is strictly prohibited from using that audio. A section of the code forbids anyone from recording or broadcasting criminal procedures if they occur in a trial court or before a grand jury, even if the audio or video in question was purchased directly from the court.

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