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What do you think about all the exposure suspects of crimes get in the media?

is it possible to get a fair trial in this day and age in a high visibility crime? Is the media exposure a good thing or a bad thing?

 
lovinangels

Asked by lovinangels at 1:49 PM on Aug. 15, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (112,638 Credits)
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Answers (6)
  • People remember the big news headline, they don't remember the charges being dropped. There are several people I went to school with who had run ins with the law. One actually did go to prison - but the story of what put him there has been so corrupted over the past 20 years that when people talk about it, it has no resemblance at all to what actually happened. One was arrested and later charges dropped - his accuser was a po'd woman he'd just dumped the night before and her story fell apart when they tried investigating it. People still talk about him being arrested, and some are amazed when you tell them she was lying and he never went to jail. They've assumed all this time he was abusive and rotting in a cell somewhere, because her accusations were bad enough and it was a slow enough news day that the story actually hit tv news. The charges dropped a month later - page 7 headline, 2 inch article.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:25 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I think in some cases it can be a help for example, the Tonya Craft Trial. Her media attention actually was good. However, in most cases it can be a hindrance. A prime example of this is Richard Jewel in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. He was a person of interest and it almost ruined his name. He was later exonerated but had he of actually been arrested and gone to trail I don't think he could have gotten a fair trail. There are more people in prison that are not guilty than we would like to admit.

    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 1:58 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Manson tried to use the "exposure" to effect his trial. He held up a paper with the headline that Nixon thought he was guilty. The Scopes Monkey Trial was hindered by media coverage. It is an age old problem, but somehow we have been able to withhold our opinions and seat a jury which has done well.
    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 4:47 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • good answers
    san78

    Answer by san78 at 2:38 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Thats why they can change venues. Besides, most people don't even watch news anymore. It would have to be really big to get country wide exposure
    itsmesteph11

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 8:21 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Steph is very right, you know. People rarely watch news unless it reflects their personal worldview.

    As a journalist...it's a tough, tough call. Earlier this year, there was a LOT of coverage of the murder of Chelsea King in San Diego, and the arrest and eventual guilty plea of John Gardner, who also pleaded guilty to murdering another young girl the previous year. Had he not entered the guilty plea, he would indeed have had a hard time getting a fair trial in San Diego county due to the heavy media coverage.

    But at the same time, that intense coverage did uncover a serious problem in parole monitoring. Gardner had violated parole repeatedly before the murders. Had something been done, those girls would be alive today.

    Mistakes do get made, and coverage sometimes is uneven as in NP's example above. We do try to avoid that unevenness.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:46 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

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