Immunity” Please respond to the following:
• Assume you are a judge in state court presiding over a high-profile criminal case in which the governor, who is married and has five children, allegedly killed his campaign manager (who was also his mistress) because she wanted to break off their relationship. The case has generated tremendous publicity in the local and national media. Discuss the following: (a) what constitutional issues might arise during the trial, given the nature of the case; and (b) what you, as the trial judge, can do to avoid the conviction being reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court on those issues if raised on appeal. Support your response.
Respond to Peer:
RE: Week 8 Discussion
Assume you are a judge in state court presiding over a high-profile criminal case in which the governor, who is married and has five children, allegedly killed his campaign manager (who was also his mistress) because she wanted to break off their relationship. The case has generated tremendous publicity in the local and national media. Discuss the following: (a) what constitutional issues might arise during the trial, given the nature of the case; and
The constitutional issues that might arise in this case would be the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments which guarantee the right of the defendant to a fair and impartial trial. Due to the defendant being the Governor of the state he will be tried it would be reasonable to believe that everybody in that state would have some knowledge of offense he is being charged with due to the publicity by the local and national media. Due to the prohibition of prejudicial publicity a judge would have to ensure the jury was truly impartial and the defendant was convicted solely on the evidence of the trail and no other information learned before the trial.
(b) what you, as the trial judge, can do to avoid the conviction being reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court on those issues if raised on appeal. Support your response.
As the judge in this case many options could be utilized to guarantee the defendant and fair impartial trial and avoid a reversal on appeal. The first being change of venue. A change in venue is used when a court case like this has been highly publicized in the area it occurred and in an effort for a fair impartial jury, it would be moved to a different county within the state to form a jury with little or no knowledge of the incident. Due to the accused being the Governor of the state, a change of venue would have little or no effect on the jury pool because everyone in the state would have comparable knowledge of the charges. The second option could be used sequestration. This is when the judge orders the jury to be kept together during the trial and controls their contact with the outside world. Sequestration would eliminate the undue influence of the public and media on the jury during the trial. The third option that would be utilized is a gag rule. A gag rule is when a judge prohibits members of the trial from releasing information regarding the trail to the media during the trial. The third option is to control the press. Although the press does have a First Amendment right to attend a trial, the media can be excluded from portions of the trail if it poses a clear danger to an impartial trial. Many times, judges will let members of the press in the courtroom during the trial but they restrict the use of video or audio recording as a measure to reduce the exposure of the trial.
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