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Constitutionality of Media in the Courtroom
University of Phoenix
Media in the courtroom has become a staple in today’s society but one must ask if this is constitutional and what role does it play in the outcome. Advocates argue vigorously that freedom of speech set forth in the First Amendment, allows for the media’s presence in the courtroom. In Chandler v. Florida the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one’s constitutional rights are not violated by the presence of media (“Chandler”, n.d.). Their decision was based on their opinion of the sixth amendment which is that media does not limit the fairness of the trial or create an impartial jury. But one must ask do the rights of the defendant outweigh the rights of the American people and how much of the media’s presence influence the verdict.
There are other high profile cases such as the Michael Jackson trial. The media talked about what clothes he wore how he looked every day. His attorneys wore high priced pristine suits every day. I would say we could assume that the presence of the media in and outside the courtroom had a direct effect on how his attorneys and the prosecutors presented themselves. With the high media presence we could also assume this had a direct effect on the jurors and possibly the outcome of that trial. Is there undue pressure being put on the jurors but having such a spectaclein and outside the courtroom? Some might agree with this notion.
Take the Phil Spector trials. He was first tried in 2007 and this trial was also a media circus. Every day we got to see Phil Spectors hair sticking every which way or it would be neatly cut and dyed a different color. The media speculated whether he was purposely acting crazy for the cameras or were his intentions ill intended, one might say yes. The media was an ever present staple in that courtroom with blow by blows being given on court TV. TV personalities were describing…