ERIC Number: EJ713624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 7
Balancing Act: First and Sixth Amendment Rights in High-Profile Cases
Landman, James H.
Social Education, v69 n4 p182 May-Jun 2005
We often hear that democracy is not a spectator sport. This is certainly true of trial by jury, a cornerstone of our democracy, which depends on the willingness of Americans from all walks of life to devote themselves to the difficult work of determining another person's guilt or innocence of a crime. But the work of those citizens selected to serve on juries has become a spectator sport for the rest of us, especially in cases involving a celebrity or a crime of particular infamy. As our interest in--and media coverage of--high-profile trials grows, so do concerns over the ability of juries to do their work impartially and give the defendant the fair trial guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This article considers three issues that have emerged as points of conflict in high-profile trials. First, how broad is the public's right of access to criminal trials? Second, what limits, if any, can courts impose on media coverage of a trial? And third, should courts be able to distinguish between news-oriented reporting on a trial and other, more entertainment-oriented forms of media coverage? A selected list of online resources is provided.
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Mass Media Effects, Justice, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Courts, News Reporting, Sociocultural Patterns, Class Activities, Freedom of Speech
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment