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The Trial in American Life$
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Robert A. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226243252

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226243283.001.0001

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Seeing Justice Done

Seeing Justice Done

Chapter:
(p.305) Chapter Nine Seeing Justice Done
Source:
The Trial in American Life
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226243283.003.0009

The right to a fair public trial, the right to freedom of speech, and the right to freedom of the press are fundamental coordinates in a free society, but they are ranged on a collision course over publicity in today's courtrooms. Technical innovation has turned mere tensions between the law and the press into a battleground of uncertain dimensions. One of the most dominant features of postmodernity in American culture involves the continuous bombardment of sound, image, and print from a surfeit of sources, mediums, and directions. In 1991, Steven Brill generated the Courtroom Television Network, paving the way for the use of television cameras in courtroom trials. Is it possible to ensure responsible trial coverage through postmodern media techniques without muzzling either free speech or freedom of the press? According to the historian Frederic Maitland, “Justice must assume a picturesque garb or she will not be seen.”.

Keywords:   justice, courtrooms, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, television, Steven Brill, Courtroom Television Network, postmodernity, law

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