Media in the Courtroom
Media in the courtroom plays a role in the proceedings and outcomes of trials.
Com 150. Effective Essay Writing
Professor Phoenix Lundstrom
December 14, 2008
Few things have intrigued us as much as highly-publicized trials. This paper will examine influences the media has on courtroom proceedings including outcome of trials. The paper will explore how the media’s presence, inside and outside the courtroom affects the defendant’s right to a fair trial. How the media affects the proceedings and outcome of trials can be traced back to 1807 in the treason trial of Aaron Burr. Not until the 1970’s did the Supreme Court begin to focus on the media’s First Amendment right of free press. In the Richmond Newspaper v. Virginia, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the media to cover trial proceedings. Although no standards were established, the Supreme Court stated that for a courtroom to be closed, the trial judge must provide substantial proof the defendant’s right to a fair trial was being violated. This paper will cover the historical background of court cases, confidentiality of witnesses, victims and the defendant, and the effects cameras have on trial participants, accountability of reporters, including experiments and studies of media within the courtroom.
Court Cases: A Historical Background
The 1935 Lindbergh Kidnapping trial of Richard Hauptmann was referred to as, “the greatest story since the Resurrection.” by journalist H.L Mencken. Douglas Linder, Famous American Trials. Retrieved December, 12th 2008. As one of the most famous of the twentieth century, involved an American hero, ransom notes, cemetery meetings, a German who fought against the United States and every parent’s worst nightmare, kidnapping. Evidence supporting his conviction was circumstantial at best. Hauptmann was offered $75,000. for his wife and son if he provided the details of...