The Press: Fine Line

The question before the U.S. Supreme Court was: When do newspaper reports of a crime prejudice a defendant's right to a fair trial? The question was an old one in Maryland: Baltimore's municipal judges had a ten-year-old regulation that forbade publication of pre-trial confessions in local crime cases. Three Baltimore radio stations had ignored that regulation, and in 1949 had been convicted and fined for contempt of court. They had won a reversal in the court of appeals of Maryland (TIME, June 20).

Last week the Supreme Court refused to review the case. As usual, the court gave no reason for its...

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