Does Media Coverage Affect The Trial? Essay

Does Media Coverage Affect The Trial? Essay

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An analysis of trial fairness in the case of R. v Taylor (1994) 98 Cr. App. R. 361. Did media coverage affect the trial?

Media coverage of trials in the digital age has become a considerable issue in the UK and traditional legal remedies to reduce the influence of the press on jurors’ bias appear to be inefficient. In recent years, the discussion of fair trial and free press has been raised due to the fact that in some criminal cases especially high profile criminal cases, the right of defendants has been infringed. High profile criminal case can be loosely described as a case of the suspect who is a well-known person such as a celebrity, an actor, and a businessman as well as a case, which receives massive attention even though the accused is not a famous person for example, the case of R. v Taylor (1994) 98 Cr. App. R. 361. In June 1993 the Court of Appeal quashed the verdict of non-celebrity case, Michelle and Lisa Taylor who were suspected of the murder because of the exceedingly prejudicial coverage by press. Indeed, media inspection of the criminal procedure can ensure fairness; however, there are Naylor (1994), Geragos (2006) and, St Eve and Zuckerman (2012) who argue that media coverage influences publicity and the jury. It is a challenging duty to maintain justice in the media age as well as balancing the rights of the defendant and the freedom of the media. This essay will argue that press interference negatively influenced the jury in the convictions of R. v Taylor (1994) leading to an unfair guilty verdict and contributing to a miscarriage of justice. The essay will discuss threats caused by media coverage in this case including the power of the press, prejudicial publicity, and fair trial. It can be conclude...


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...nd unsatisfied because the clarification of witness’ statement was failed. Nonetheless, Carey (1985), suggests that from the analysis of practical observes on public prejudice reveals that the juries’ decisions based on the information in courtrooms rather that on the external data from the media. As well as Frasca (1988, cited in Geragos, 2006) who implies that there are only a few cases have the press disclosure problem, conversely Geragos (2006: 1178) argues that “the problem is qualitative, rather than quantitative”. Frasca (1988)’s argument is insufficient for the media coverage issue due to concentration only on the number of cases; in contrast, Gerogos (2006)’s argument focuses on the cruelty of the problem which nobody should deserve and also suggests that the method to deal with those remarkable cases is what correctly expresses the right to fair trial.

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