Last Update: 19 Mar 00
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REPLY #8 TO
"CRIME AND PUNISHMENT"
(R) I have one more question and hopefully more to come...
(MB) Good deal. Fire away!
(R) 1) What do you think is the impact of the media on high profile court cases?
(MB) I think that the media has a tendency to sensationalize such cases. What other murder case, for example, has received the constant attention and intense media scrutiny that was afforded to the OJ Simpson case? Certainly, there are other cases which are far more complex or heinous that go on with barely a mention.
(R) Does the public have the right to know what goes on in our courts?
(MB) Absolutely! We have not only have a right but an obligation to understand the workings of our criminal justice system. How else will be to know when or if the system is being abused or when it is working at admirable efficiency?
(R) Also, Do individuals involved in court proceedings have the right to privacy?
(MB) Absolutely, once again! Their case is not tried in public (meaning outside the controlled environment of the courtroom) and no amount of public support or outcry should be allowed to affect what goes on during the proceedings.
(R) and What kinds of limits, if any, would you place on the media?
(MB) I wouldn't legislate any limits on the media other than those which are already in force. If the case is newsworthy, the media has a right to report it. We can only ask that they report the case responsibly and not interfere with the proceedings in any way.
(R) I read your answer to my previous question concerning judicial restraint vs. judicial activism. and my comment is how can you say that judges are supposed to render their judgements in accordance with the laws and they're not supposed to render laws in accordance with their judgements if the sole purpose of the Supreme Court is to determine the constitutionality of laws? So, therefore, the Supreme Court renders laws in accordance to their decisions.
(MB) That's not true. The applicable laws (i.e., the Constitution) are already in place and are not what are being affirmed by the Court's decisions. If the Supreme Court declares something to be "unconstitutional", it is not rendering a new law. It is rendering a judgment about the issue in question in accordance with the established law of the land.
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