Hernandez judge: No to CNN request on public juror questions

The first phase of jury selection is due to end Tuesday

In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez looks back during an evidentiary hearing at Fall River Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, Wendy Maeda, Pool)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — The judge overseeing the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez has turned down a request from CNN that the questioning of prospective jurors be done in a way that the public can hear.

Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh responded Monday to a letter sent by CNN last week. The letter expressed concerns that the plan to question prospective jurors out of the public’s hearing violates the First Amendment.

Garsh says Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court found it was constitutional to question them out of the public’s hearing, as long as the public could see the proceeding.

The first phase of jury selection is due to end Tuesday. A final set of prospective jurors is filling out questionnaires. Individual questioning of jurors starts Friday.

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