Chapter

Seeing Justice Done

in The Trial in American Life

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226243252
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226243283 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226243283.003.0009
Seeing Justice Done

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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

Chapter.  13172 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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