Extract from ja meeting in chambers :
Well, I acknowledge that I believe this is a manipulative tactic; and I have concerns about the genuine reason for the request to close the proceeedings: however my concern is that if I don’t close the proceedings , the Defendant will be precluded from testifying
or will refuse: and I’m not sure that under these circumstances an Appellate Court will find that it is a voluntary waiver of her right to present mitigation. So I’m going to close the proceedings. So you are aware, I will read a statement indicating my reasons.
The defendant has an overriding and compelling interest in presenting mitigation evidence from this witness, [Jodi] and that interest will be prejudiced if the courtroom is not closed so that the witness will testify. The closure of the courtroom for the testimony of this witness is no broader than necessary to protect the Defendant’s interest in providing mitigation evidence for the penalty phase jury.
The Court has considered and suggested other alternatives to closing the courtroom: however the witness has refused to participate unless the courtroom is closed during his or her testimony.