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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 159971 Find in a Library
Title: Lawyer: "A Chill Wind Blows" (From The Culture of Crime, P 75-81, 1995, Craig L LaMay and Everette E Dennis, eds. -- See NCJ-159964)
Author(s): W M Kunstler
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Publishers
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Sale Source: Transaction Publishers
Rutgers-the State University
140 West Ethel Road
Units L-M
Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The author argues that defense attorneys must use the press to influence pretrial publicity to be favorable to their clients, given the erosion of the rights of the accused and the propensity of prosecutors and law enforcement personnel to use the press to portray suspects and defendants negatively.
Abstract: With so many of the procedural and substantive safeguards of yesteryear fast disappearing under U.S. Supreme Court decisions, criminal defense attorneys are left with only their professional abilities and their wits to change the atmosphere surrounding their clients for the better. The press is the only instrument by which a defense attorney's client can hope to offset the state's advantage in molding public opinion and the opinions of prospective jurors. In making statements to the media prior to trial, however, an attorney must keep in mind the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada. Although the Court reversed a recommendation that an attorney be privately reprimanded for holding a press conference the day after his client's indictment, the Court continued to champion the illusion that fair trials in high profile cases are possible, implying that defense attorneys do not need to make statements to the press a necessary part of attempting to ensure their clients have a fair trial.
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Defense counsel effectiveness; Defense preparation; Media coverage; Media support; Right to fair trial
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