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Sixth Amendment

Communications Law

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Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer Jun 2019

Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Judicial failure to recognize social media's influence on juror decision making has identifiable constitutional implications. The Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial demands that courts grant a defendant's change of venue motion when media-generated pretrial publicity invades the unbiased sensibility of those who are asked to sit in judgment. Courts limit publicity suitable for granting a defendant's motion to information culled from newspapers, radio, and television reports. Since about 2014, however, a handful of defendants have introduced social media posts to support their claims of unconstitutional bias in the community. Despite defendants' introduction of negative social media in support …


The Answer To Trial Publicity Is A Better Question, Kevin F. Qualls Jul 2015

The Answer To Trial Publicity Is A Better Question, Kevin F. Qualls

Kevin F Qualls

Free-Press/Fair-Trial contests now happen in a new media age. Judicial remedies such as change-of-venue, sequestration, jury admonitions, and gag orders were fashioned in an era that included broadcast radio and television, an emerging cable television industry, and the traditional print media of newspapers and magazines. That content was, to some degree, geographically bound and temporary. Now those judicial remedies are applied in a new media age that extends the reach of traditional media in time and space while offering interactive capability. The efficacy of these remedies is in question. This paper provides an historical overview of how judicial remedies for …