MCLawCh8notes - Chapter 8 Means of Chapter Access Law as...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 8: Means of Chapter Access: Law as Entertainment Entertainment Limitations on recording devices at Limitations on recording devices at trial, and the difference between access for journalistic purposes and access for entertainment Metaphor of a Play Metaphor Please read pages 235 (“Trials as Theater…”) – 239 (“Access to a farce…”) to understand the “play” metaphor. Clash of Competing Interests: The Courts, the Media, and Multiple Publics Courts, Remember that the government may restrict or completely prohibit access to its facilities and processes And it can completely control means of access So, even if it grants access, it may prohibit the use of cameras or other recording devices 1965 case of Zemel v. Rusk and its progeny remind us that the press has no greater access than does the general public Courts have struggled with the fact that if media is allowed to have recording equipment, then anyone is allowed to do so as well Clash of Competing Interests: The Courts, the Media, and Multiple Publics Courts, So, if everyone could have such equipment, then courtroom decorum would be impossible to maintain However, how can the people change the process of their government if they essentially have no access to it in the first place? The people, under several Amendments, have a right of access to such processes, it is argued The media act as surrogates for the people, providing such information, so the media too has right to such access But there are competing media interests: Informative, entertaining Clash of Competing Interests: The Courts, the Media, and Multiple Publics Courts, Is the media a “special class” worthy of superior rights under the Constitution? Media might be better served to champion the cause of equal and open access for all Courts use a balancing test of media interests v. government interests Some argue that undermines the right of all people to have such access Under the Zemel doctrine, courts only see two competing interests: government & media/public Behavior of some media folks has operated against access Clash of Competing Interests: The Courts, the Media, and Multiple Publics Courts, Media Interests: Commercial Journalistic Drives programming, increases revenue Gatekeepers of information vital to public discourse Public Interests: “The people” Sovereigns with interest in self­government and public discourse Mass audiences Media usage for entertainment and catharsis Cameras in the Courtroom Cameras Estes v. Texas (1965) First time the USSCt. was asked to address the question of whether a person convicted of a crime was deprived of 14th A. due process by the televising and broadcasting of his trial Δ had been granted change of venue b/c of massive pretrial publicity Moved to close the trial That hearing lasted 2 days and had lots of recorded coverage Judge ruled trial left open Δ convicted Ct. of Appeals affirmed USSSCt. Granted cert. on the constitutional issue; Reversed TV was “injection of an irrelevant factor into court proceedings” “[m]ight cause actual unfairness”; 7 problems outlined on p.240 of text Cameras in the Courtroom Cameras Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966) Dr. Sam Sheppard convicted in Ohio trial court of murdering his wife Conviction affirmed at Appeals and State Supreme Court levels USSCt. denied application for appeal in 1956 Filed HC in 1964, won in District Ct., lost on appeal USSCt. granted cert. this time; issue was whether Δ was deprived of a fair trial because of publicity Media abuses at trial outlined on pp. 240­41 in text Remanded case b/c trial personnel failed to control the “inherently prejudicial publicity” Cameras in the Courtroom Cameras Use of cameras prohibited in federal court Case of the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby Negative impact of media and cameras felt in courtroom Use of cameras discretionary in state courts 1981, Chandler v. Florida 2 former cops convicted of crimes; objected to the cameras claiming deprivation of fair trial/denial of due process USSCt. affirmed convictions and found no evidence that cameras’ presence hurt Δs’ cases Capital Punishment Capital Historically, public observance aided in its effectiveness Today, severe restrictions on public access State governments may restrict access for the public good Staff safety concerns? Most state’s set specific rules (see p. 249) McVeigh case Ashcroft mistakes? ...
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