Criminal Justice: The Press & the Courts

No matter how shocking the charges against him, every American accused of a crime is entitled to a fair trial before twelve unbiased jurors. Yet whatever tactics the defense tries — change of venue, peremptory challenges or cautionary instructions to the jury — all may be futile in a day when mass me dia confront potential jurors with everything from the murder weapon to the victim's widow. Such "prejudicial reporting" or pretrial press publicity has caused appellate courts to overturn more and more convictions.

There have been many reminders of the kind...

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