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Should Tv Cameras Be Allowed In Court? This Essay Was For A Level 300 Pych & Law Class And Looks At The Pros And Cons In How It Affects The Participants In A Trial

1151 words - 5 pages

Television and CourtsThe media has frequently expressed their right and responsibility to present current news to the public. Many times this responsibility to the public interferes with a person's privacy or the practices of many systems, for example the court systems. Courts provide a service to the general public as well as the media, but these services have collided with increasing occurrence. Those involved often express how the court process would operate smoother if the media were not concerned. Specifically American media has taken much responsibility for causing difficulties. Simply by watching foreign news accounts one can see a large difference in the presentation of current ...view middle of the document...

Often, people try to live up to the opinion.The media's overstepping of their bounds is most clear in large, high profile cases that involve famous people or terrible atrocities. Mass media understands that Americans have a desire for watching their favorite celebrities sweat under the legal pressures. The public especially has a love for watching someone "get what they deserve" for being accused of a crime such as mass murder or a similar crime. Thus, bringing the public the drama in these high profile cases is not bad in and of itself, it is when the media outlets begin to assert their opinions on pending or in progress trials that the problem begins to emerge because the public does not seem to question the media's opinion and think for themselves.Part of the problem is the backup in American courts turning what should be a speedy trial into a long ordeal. This gives a large gap of time between the accusation by authority and the actual trial to determine guilt. During this time period, television analysts have the power to inflict their theories on a specific case to the minds of the public. This public will eventually be the source of a jury for the trial. If this jury is made up of individuals who have partaken of any significant amount of viewing television relating to the case, then there is a very good chance that the juror will have some preconceptions about the trial at hand. Many jurors who have watched television coverage of pre-trial activities no longer fit the Constitutions definition of a juror as "impartial." However, it is difficult finding a pool of jurors that have neither watched the television or been effected by it.Another problem comes in trying to isolate jurors and judges from the in-trial coverage of mass media. It is impossible to completely sterilize the out of court environment for the jury. Television, radio, and print mediums are readily available that getting twelve people into and out of a courtroom without being exposed to some form of media is an unachievable goal. Although jurors are certainly capable of making up their own minds about a case based on the evidence at hand, jurors are made up of the general public in most cases. Judges also watch television analysis of their trial...

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