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Pretrial Publicity- Can get information from a multitude of outletso TVo Interneto Radioo Gossipo Twittero Etc.Constitutional Conflict- 1st Amendment – Freedom of speech/freedom of the press- 6th Amendment – Right to a speedy, public trial before an impartial jury- Can you give somebody a fair trial given the media coverage?o Does the media exposure affect the fairness of the trial?o Can you get an impartial jury?o If not, is there a way to remedy that?Research- Experimental Studieso Typical laboratory studieso Give participants a biased article about the trial Then ask how they would side if they were jurorso Arguably not like a real-trial scenario- Field Studieso Field studies actually interview people for a particular caseo Have you been exposed to this story? What have you seen? What is your opinion of the defendant?o Much more connected to the reality of whatever media exposure happens in the general population- Specific pretrial publicityo About a specific case- General pretrial publicityo General caseso Types of media which are most/least effective- Can impact people’s view of the defendant’s charactero Whether they like themo Whether their sympathetic to themo Whether or not he’s guiltyo Final verdictso Find defendant liable in a civil caseo Stories that negatively portray the defendant raise the odds that he/she is seen as guilty- Research hasn’t looked at the potency of online knowledge versus TV or print- Most media stories are about heinous cases- Great degree of slant and opinion in new stories these daysKovera Study (2002)- Pro-defense, neutral, and pro-prosecution TV report- General story about rape – edited to make it pro-defense (pro-offender) and pro-prosecution (pro-victim)- Date rape case presentedPRO-DEFENSE (PRO-OFFENDER)NEUTRALPRO-PROSECUTION (PRO-VICTIM)- More evidence of consent- More corroborating evidence- More evidence from witness- More evidence about victim’s credibilityo People overestimate the degree to which false accusations happeno Victim-blaming(What the participants- More evidence about victim’s credibilityo Same as neutralwanted to get)- In terms of wanting more effort about the perpetrator’s responsibility, women wanted more information while men didn’to When they were presented the pro-defense video- If you include a story about rape/sexual assault in addition to other stories, they give more importance to the sexual assault than the other parts of the caseCivil Cases- Impact on decisions- Impact on damage blame- No impact on amount rewarded- If you gave participants a story about the defendant that was negative towards him/her, they would overwhelmingly vote in favor of the plaintiffo Also blamed them more for the damageso But it had no impact on the amount rewarded- If the judge gives exact instructions on how they need to evaluate, it does not takeaway the media effecto Judge is insufficient of dealing with the affect of pretrial publicityo Applies to criminal cases as wello Has more of an affect on civil casesField Studies- Knowledge of the crimeo People will be more knowledgeable about the case than they would have without the media coverage- More likely to prejudge- More knowledgeable about incriminating facts that would be inadmissibleo Include inadmissible information that people believeo Imply causation- If people have prejudices, they tend to be stable and are resistant to being swayed by otherso Problem because they’re supposed to be decided on evidence, not on prejudiceRemedies- None of them are perfect – they all have their problems1. Continuanceo Put it offo Postpone so that the pre-trial publicity lessens due to timeo Messes with “speedy trial”o Impacts memory Details become fuzzyo Doesn’t do anything about the attitudinal biases2. Expanded voir direo Try to get more information on whether or not people have biases and whether or not they’re coming from media outletso May have people who are unaware of their biaseso Certain biases are socially undesirable to admit to3. Judicial instructionso Don’t negate the media effect Some studies show that it doesn’t even put a dent in ito Boomerang effect = if you tell someone to ignore it, they think about it more4. Imported jurorso School bus remedy #1o Bring jurors to the case to remove the media effect if it’s localizedo Jury of your peers concept is challengedo Expensiveo Time consumingo Quite rare5. Change of venueo School bus remedy #2o Move the case to another jurisdiction to remove the media effect if it’s localized, to a place with a similar demographico Jury of your peers concept is challengedo Expensiveo Time consumingChange of Venue Surveys- Keep in mind: all about whether or not the person can get a fair trial- Survey and questionso Plan and design survey around mediao Have to query about the media effect without giving away what you’re doing Do it without exposing the nature of what you’re doing- Training of interviewers- Drawing of the sampleo Usually interviews are done over the phoneo Can no longer randomly dial land-lines to get a good sample due to cell phoneso If you use only land-lines, you get a skewed representation of the demographic Missing younger peopleo More expensive to call cell phone Have to hand-dial cell phones but can let a machine dial land lineso Have to show that the sample from where the case is versus elsewhere expresses a significant difference between the 2- Presenting resultso Neutrally present the scienceo Do/do not have a media effecto Does/does not matter where it iso Challenged on scientific admissibility


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NU CRIM 4710 - Pretrial Publicity

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