The Press: Rule 904

After a ten-day police hunt last July, a handy man in Baltimore confessed the murder of two eleven-year-old girls. Anywhere else in the U.S., it would have been Page One news. But not in Baltimore. There, judges of the Supreme Bench have a rule forbidding stories on confessions in local cases, because they think it might prejudice the defendant's right to an impartial trial. In the nine years in which Rule 904 has been in force the press has never seriously challenged it. When in doubt, an editor usually calls up a judge to ask what to print. So last...

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