The Press: Free Press & Fair Trial

The U.S. Supreme Court last week raised an issue that has long worried thoughtful U.S. editors. The issue: Do sensational newspaper stories in criminal cases endanger the right of an individual to a fair trial? The question was highlighted as the court reversed the conviction of two Negroes sentenced to death for raping a 17-year-old Groveland, Fla. housewife. (A third defendant, sentenced to life imprisonment, did not appeal.) While the unanimous reversal was based on the fact that Negroes had been excluded from the trial jury, Justice Robert H. Jackson went further in his concurring opinion. Wrote Jackson: Even if Negroes...

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