Free Press v. Fair Trial: Supreme Court Decisions since 1807

By Douglas S. Campbell | Go to book overview

Sheppard v. Maxwell
Samuel H. Sheppard v. E. L. Maxwell, Warden Docket No. 1966-490 384 U.S. 333, 16 L.Ed.2d 600, 86 S.Ct. 1507 ( 1966)Argued February 28, 1966. Decided June 6, 1966.
Background
By 1966, the Court had made it clear that pretrial and extra-trial publicity could indeed unconstitutionally prejudice jurors and so deprive a defelldant from trial by an impartial jury. Never before, however, had it outlined more than a few isolated steps that could be taken by a trial court to reduce the effect upon jurors of information disseminated by the press.Perhaps in part because the trial judge here claimed lie could not control the press, the Court used this ruling to suggest a number of steps that he could have taken to regulate the press constitutionally. Indeed, Sheppard is considered a landmark case precisely because of its detailed prescriptions for ameliorating the deleterious effects on the fairness of a trial caused by pretrial and extra-trial publicity.Some of the most important questions raised by this trial and its attendant publicity were posed by F. Lee Bailey in his brief asking the court to grant Sheppard a new trial. Of his eleven questions, the four below are the most relevant to this conflict.
(1) Did the pretrial publicity in petitioner's [ Sheppard's] case so prejudice the community that no fair and impartial jury could have been impanelled?
(2) Did the trial judge fail to adequately protect the petit jury, once impanelled, from prejudicial extrinsic influence?
(3) Did the trial judge fail to adequately interrogate the jurors when they had been exposed to prejudicial extrinsic matter through the news media during the trial?

. . .

(5) Did the trial judge deny petitioner a public trial by assigning nearly all the seats in the courtroom to newsmen?

-125-

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Free Press v. Fair Trial: Supreme Court Decisions since 1807
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Burr V. U.S. 7
  • Reid V. U.S. 19
  • Reynolds V. U.S. 23
  • Hopt V. Utah 31
  • Spies V. Illinois 36
  • Simmons V. U.S. 46
  • Mattox V. U.S. 50
  • Thiede V. Utah 55
  • Holt V. U.S. 60
  • Stroud V. U.S. 65
  • Shepherd V. Florida 70
  • Stroble V. California 77
  • U.S. Ex Rel. Darcy V. Handy 85
  • Marshall V. United States 91
  • Irvin V. Dowd 95
  • Beck V. Washington 101
  • Rideau V. Louisiana 110
  • Estes V. Texas 114
  • Sheppard V. Maxwell 125
  • Murphy V. Florida 133
  • Nebraska Press Association V. Stuart 139
  • Gannett V. Depasquale 149
  • Richmond Newspapers, Inc. V. Virginia 160
  • Chandler V. Florida 167
  • Globe Newspaper Co. V. Superior Court 172
  • Press-Enterprise Co. V. Superior Court 180
  • Waller V. Georgia 186
  • Patton V. Yount 191
  • Press-Enterprise Co. V. Superior Court 198
  • Mu'Min V. Virginia 203
  • Appendix A - ALPHABETICAL LIST OF PRIMARY U.S. SUPREME COURT CASES RELATED TO FREE PRESS-FAIR TRIAL CONFLICT 215
  • Appendix B - SUPPORTING CASES 218
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 245
  • About the Author *
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