ERIC Number: ED205972
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
"Chandler v. Florida": Unfinished Script for Cameras in the Courtroom.
The United States Supreme Court's decision in "Chandler v. Florida" allowing cameras in the courtroom has been hailed by some as a victory for the broadcast media and interpreted by others as an open invitation to televise criminal trials. A careful reading of the case, however, leads to another conclusion--that the Court has left the door open to further challenges to states that allow broadcast and photographic coverage of trials. The Chandler decision is narrow and is based on two levels. On the first level, the Court ruled that unless the presence of cameras violated the United States Constitution by abridging the right to a fair trial, it was up to each state to determine if they would be allowed in courtrooms. In this sense, the decision reinforced the precedent that the procedural operations of state courts fall within the jurisdiction of the individual states and not the federal government. On the second level, the Court determined that given the evidence presented, there was insufficient proof that the presence of cameras automatically precluded a fair trial. It did not, however, reveal what it would consider sufficient proof that cameras in the courtroom were prejudicial, nor did it provide guidelines for lower courts to follow to insure that cameras would not prejudice trials. Finally, the decision involved no claims of a First or Sixth Amendment right to access to the courts for the purpose of televising, photographing, or broadcasting trials. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chandler v Florida
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (64th, East Lansing, MI, August 8-11, 1981).