The Law: Conflict Over Gags

The six bodies of a farm family in Sutherland, Neb., lay in their blood, dead from gunshot wounds; a ten-year-old girl and her grandmother had been raped after their deaths. As word of the grisly murders spread last October, major news organizations descended —some literally—on the scene. NBCTV, for example, sent a chartered helicopter whirling north from Denver. The journalists started out expecting to get a major crime story; instead, they ended up with a courtroom confrontation between the conflicting rights of a free press and of a defendant to a fair trial....

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