Law and Contemporary Problems

A quarterly law journal publishing issues devoted to papers on a particular topic of contemporary interest. Topics usually reflect an interdisciplinary perspective with contributions by lawyers, economists, social scientists, scholars in other disciplines

Articles from Vol. 71, No. 4, Autumn

Back to the Future - Questions for the News Media from the Past
I The alleged rape by three members of the Duke University lacrosse team led to extensive coverage by media voices as different as CNN Headline News's Nancy Grace (billed as "the feisty former prosecutor") and the more sedate "Gray Lady," The New...
How Noninstitutionalized Media Change the Relationship between the Public and Media Coverage of Trials
I INTRODUCTION Justice Brennan's concurring opinion in Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart (1) puts citizenship and the public at the heart of the purpose of media coverage of legal proceedings: Commentary and reporting on the criminal justice...
Introduction
In March 2006, Duke University was rocked by allegations that Caucasian members of the men's lacrosse team had sexually assaulted an African American woman hired to perform at an off-campus team party during Spring Break. In the days and weeks immediately...
Moving beyond Media Feast and Frenzy: Imagining Possibilities for Hyper-Resilience Arising from Scandalous Organizational Crisis
I INTRODUCTION When an organization finds itself mired in scandalous crisis, it is often impossible to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel--or to imagine that anything good can be realized once the organization emerges from that...
Race to Judgment: Stereotyping Media and Criminal Defendants
I INTRODUCTION The media's coverage of the Duke lacrosse story generated controversy from the very beginning. Early on, criticism came from those who felt that the media mistreated the accuser; later, critics wondered why coverage failed to direct...
Sheppard V. Maxwell Revisited - Do the Traditional Rules Work for Nontraditional Media?
In the late summer of 1954, all across northern Ohio--indeed, throughout much of the nation as a whole--people pondered this question: Did Dr. Sam Sheppard kill his pregnant wife Marilyn in their Bay Village home on Lake Erie, just west of Cleveland?...
The Circus Comes to Town: The Media and High-Profile Trials
INTRODUCTION The time to plan for a hurricane is not when the storm is thirty miles off-coast barreling toward shore, but on a tranquil, sunny day. Similarly, the time to plan for a high-profile trial is before a half-dozen satellite trucks, the...
The Duke Lacrosse Case and the Blogosphere
I INTRODUCTION On December 28, 2006, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong filed his initial response to the North Carolina State Bar grievance committee's complaint that he had unethically withheld exculpatory DNA evidence in the Duke...
The Prosecutor and the Press: Lessons (Not) Learned from the Mike Nifong Debacle
I INTRODUCTION Former District Attorney Mike Nifong made several statements to the media during the Duke lacrosse case that were overzealous and clearly contrary to a prosecutor's dual responsibilities to seek justice and to preserve a defendant's...
Trial by Media: The Betrayal of the First Amendment's Purpose
Trial by jury is rapidly being destroyed in America by the manner in which the newspapers handle all sensational cases. (1) [T]hese defendants were prejudged as guilty and the trial was but a legal gesture to register a verdict already dictated...
Trying Cases in the Media: A Comparative Overview
I INTRODUCTION Foreigners to the United States are usually struck by the harshness of its conflicts between justice and the mass media. The O.J. Simpson trial, in particular, is frequently cited as a clear illustration of the difficulty of harmonizing...
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