MMC 4200 Week 12 Notes
MMC 4200 Week 12 Notes MMC 4200
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Deena Acree on Friday April 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MMC 4200 at University of Florida taught by Sandra Chance in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Law of Mass Communications in Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Florida.
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Date Created: 04/01/16
Class Twenty (Chapter 10) — 3/29/15 Class Canceled Today Class Twenty-One (Chapter 10) — 3/31/15 Announcements: • Upcoming Extra Credit Opportunities o Mingle with the FOI Brechner Award winner in the Brechner Center (Weimer 3208) o 2 opportunities: • Monday, April 11 § 3pm-5pm § Pizza Party • Tuesday, April 12 § 10am-12pm § Breakfast & coffee o 2 reporters being recognized this year from the Miami Herald o Recorded by a pass signed by the receptionist, a worker in the office, or Prof. Riedemann Chapter 10: The Media and the Judiciary Competing Constitutional Rights • Fair Trial versus Free Press o Talking about the competing interests between fair trial and free speech o Sometimes these can be in conflict; freedom of the press • Sixth Amendment — fair trial • First Amendment — free speech The Media and the Judiciary • Conflict between a Defendant’s Sixth Amendment guarantee to a fair trial and an impartial jury o Typically, the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights outweigh the First Amendment rights of the press VERSUS • First Amendment rights of the media to o cover notorious crimes and o attend judicial proceedings. First Amendment • “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press...” Sixth Amendment • “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury ... to be informed as to the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining wi tnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” o Gives us a lot of rights: • Impartial jury • Informed of the accusation • Be confonted with witnesses • Have counsel (a lawyer) present for defense Issues • Pretrial Publicity and Judi cial Remedies o Pretrial publicity—information about the case that is released to the public before the case o This is dangerous because potential jurors can have an opinion on the case before they even hear the facts • Access to Judicial Proceedings o Press doesn't have access to any place that the public itself doesn't have access too • Cameras in the Courts Sheppard v. Maxwell • 1966 **there is a typo in the slides, the case is from 1966, NOT 1956 o One of the most important cases when it comes to this area of la w • The Fugitive o Movie based on the events in this case o Fictionalized version of the events o Sheppard was a doctor who lived in an upscale neighborhood o Neighbors found his wife's body in the upstairs bedroom of their home o He said that he had woken in the middle of the night to a shadow; had an altercation; been knocked out o Awoke the next morning to wife dead o Became a suspect & the media had a field day with the story o A lot of information was printed that was not actual evidence o He was suspect but not a rrested for over 1 month after wife's death o Press had a huge part in the events leading up to his arrest; article printed with headline "why isn't Sheppard in jail?" o During his trial (1954), he was convicted; served 12 years in jail before appeal reached SCOTUS o SCOTUS overturned/reversed his conviction; said that he had not had a fair trial o 2 reasons for unfair trial: • Judge had not controlled the courtroom • Judge had not controlled the information released to the press (and then the public; press could have been ordered not to release info that they did learn) • Judge did not do anything to lessen the impact of everything that had happened during the pretrial period o SCOTUS ordered a retrial, laid out some options for the court to limit the effect of the pretrial publicity • Carnival Atmosphere / “Roman Holiday” o The media turned the case into an explosive story, called o Roman Holiday—people getting a day off from work so that they could watch gladiators fight to death o Benefit to one person at the expense of another' s misery • Judicial Remedies for limiting the effect of pretrial publicity • Main purpose is so that jurors are only using the evidence that is presented at the trial to make their decision o Change of venue (Rideau v. Louisiana) • Changing the case so that it is tried in a different jurisdiction than the one where it occurred • Rideau v. Louisiana: § Over 100,000 people saw Rideau's taped confession via a broadcast video § The confession had been obtained without informing him of his rights § Conviction was overturned because the court did not move the venue to an area where the confession had not been broadcast o Change of venire • Getting the jurors from a different jurisdiction to come to a case in the jurisdiction where the case events occurred • Example: getting jurors from a different county to come here to try the case o Continuance • Waiting to try the case until the events become less recent (waiting a few months so that media coverage of the events is less prominent) o Severance • Separating defendants and giving them separate trials so that each case is less impactful o Voir Dire • The process of questioning potential jurors before selecting the jury for a trial • The types of questions which are asked during the process can be changed • Sometimes the process itself is changed (asking questions before, asking follow -up questions, etc.) o Sequestration • The court essentially locks up the jury for the duration of the trial • Jury has limited access to televisions, can't use the internet/social media/etc. • Done so that the jurors are not being influenced by things that the press is talking about or their friends say o Judicial Admonition • Instructions that the judge gives to the jurors; to render their verdict only based on the things that were presented during the trial • In 2011, the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a new trial because a juror tweeted about the case while they were on the jury o New Trial • Literally ordering a new trial to occur • Used as a last resort • The court doesn't want to order a new trial because they want the defendant to get their right to a fair and fast trial VIDEO: Jury Duty VIDEO: Tampa judge summons jury skippers • Over 170 people were summoned to court and lectured by a judge because they didn't show up to jury duty • More than 100 people did not actually show up that were summoned (270 total) Jury Bias • As a matter of law, jurors are biased if they are so affected by prejudicial publicity that they cannot set aside preconceived ideas and decide a case solely on the evidence presented during a trial. o SCOTUS has said that a defendant can receive a fair trial even if every member knows about the defendant's criminal history before the trial begins . • Murphy v. Florida o Man was being tried for stealing a large gem o Had many other previous charges and conviction; robbery, murder, interstate transportation of stolen goods o He appealed on the grounds that the jury had been prejudiced about him because of hi s previous record o SCOTUS said that that was not grounds for an appeal because all of the things that had been published were true and most had been published at least 7 months before the jury selection occurred. o Said that in order for the jury to be biase d, there needed to be more evidence that the press had influenced their decision.