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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150750 Find in a Library
Title: Protecting Rape Victims' Identities: Balance Between the Right to Privacy and the First Amendment
Journal: New England Law Review  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(Spring 1993)  Pages:883- 913
Author(s): S M Leone
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 31
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note discusses the statutory and common law methods used by individuals and States to limit the press' right to publish truthful information about a private individual, specifically a rape victim.
Abstract: The note analyzes the reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court in holding media rights above individual rights in the Cox Broadcasting and Florida Star decisions. The author then discusses the test derived from the Court decisions. Each element of the Court's tests is discussed in the context of a balancing between the respective interests of the media, the State, and the individual. Attention is given to whether the Court, in its previous decisions, accorded too much weight to the side of the press. Concluding that the Court fails to strike an appropriate balance between the privacy rights of rape victims and the media's right to reveal private information, an alternative method of weighing the respective interests is recommended. If there is a reason that a victim's identity should be considered "significant" for the public, that reason should be debated in the courtroom. Only when the victim's identity is found to be newsworthy should "public significance" become a defense to a public disclosure claim. 250 footnotes
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Freedom of the press; Right of privacy; US Supreme Court decisions
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