TALLAHASSEE (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is divided over whether a state law allowing partial exclusion of the public from sex crime trials meets constitutional muster.
But the seven justices Thursday unanimously affirmed a child molestation conviction as well as the partial closure of a courtroom in an Indian River county case.
They split on their reasoning. Four justices said Florida’s law meets all criteria set by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1984.
Justice Barbara Pariente disagreed, writing that the circumstances of each case also must be considered. Pariente, though, agreed with affirming the conviction because the defendant did not explain why he objected to the partial closure.
Chief Justice Ricky Polston and Justice Charles Canady did not explain why they agreed only with the result of the opinion.