High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Sep 29 1974, Page 7

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - September 29, 1974, High Point, North Carolina High Point Enterprise sunday september 29, 1974 7aaba chief advocates cooperation Between courts Media Chicago a the president of the american bar association says the amount of pretrial publicity in major cases of National interest does not preclude a fair trial for a defendant. James d. Fellers of okla homa City who became head of the 180,000-member Aba in August also says that wide Media coverage before any charges Are made in connection with a crime or an incident such As watergate or the my Lai massacre can be As damaging to fair trial rights As pretrial publicity Atter charges Are filed. The Aba Fellers says is concerned about the rising number of restrictive orders imposed on the news Media by judges and adds that he believes judges should consult with the news Media before issuing such orders. Fellers declined to comment directly on the ruling wednesday by a Federal judge overturning the murder conviction of former army it. William l. Galley. Judge j. Robert Elliot of . District court devoted much of his opinion backing the ruling to arguments that Calley a rights to a fair trial were ruined by portrayals of him in the news Media As a mass murderer in my Lai Case. Fellers made these comments in a question and answer session with the associated press q judge Elliott a rulings in the Galley Case seem to indicate that because of pretrial publicity throughout the nation there was no Way in which the army could have Given Calley a fair trial. What is your interpretation of the ruling a i would not have any re action As to whether the army had any capacity to give a fair trial or not. As i understand judge Elliot one of the basis for granting Hareas Corpus was the unfavourable pervasive publicity prior to the trial and i certainly do not want to add to that in any Way. Q in cases such As the Calley trial or watergate litigation facts and events were Given widespread Media coverage weeks and months before defendants were named. How can courts or the Media guarantee free trial rights in such cases and at the same time preserve the Public s right to know a a crime of magnitude that has persuaded the Public that it is so bad that anyone identified with it is guilty before they be Ever had an Opportunity to have All the facts brought out is an item to be considered by the court to determine if a defendant could have a fair trial. Whether it could be accomplished through a change of venue to some other location where there Hadnot been As much build up. Or whether a fair trial might be afforded by granting a continuance when Public clamor and interest and intense feelings have calmed Down. J Are you concerned that in such cases a court might Rule that it was impossible to hold a fair trial in any circumstances and allow a defendant to escape prosecution a its a concern. One of the reasons we Are trying voluntary bar Media guidelines is to ask the Media to cooperate to see that it does no to develop into the kind of situation where a defendant cannot get a fair trial even by granting a continuance or moving the trial. But you can t just Blanket say that a certain amount of pervasive publicity per be Means that a Guy can to get a fair trial. Q would the Mitchell stans Case be an example a in spite of All that publicity the court decided they could go ahead that they could have a fair trial. Well they apparently got one they were acquitted. Q How far should courts go to restrict the Media in an Effort to insure fair trials a the Aba committee on fair trial free press has been concerned with the number of judicial restrictive orders which have been entered against the Media. And the question of whether perhaps these May have gone beyond the intent of the Aba standards. Q Are the numbers of these orders increasing a a number of judges Are resorting to these restrictive orders perhaps More so than Ever before. They have different reasons in each Case for doing so. The basis of course is providing defendants with a fair trial. This has to be balanced with the Public a right to know. Q How do you feel about restrictive orders a it seems to me that fairness requires that before a restrictive order is entered there should be some notice to the Media that is being considered and they perhaps should have an Opportunity to be heard. We be got an educational process with the watergate shadows covering elections by Don Mcleod a political writer Washington a in a variety of ways watergate has become the compelling political Force of 1974. It has Many voters turned off and a potent minority fighting mad. And candidates who have Learned How to use it Are winning. Surprisingly incumbents seem to be the main beneficiaries a so far. The overwhelming feature of this year s elections is voter apathy generally attributed by the politicians themselves to a Public revulsion to politics brought on by corruption in Washington. Quot there was a severe Case of voter rejection of the political system and their involvement in it a a Washington gov. Dan Evans said after a record Low turnout for the primary in his state. A i think this is California Drew the lowest voter participation in 32 years and pollster Mervin Field said voters were a shaken up dismayed resentful frustrated a Over revelations of the watergate Era. In the june 4 primary. 47.4 per cent of californians 9.5 million registered voters cast ballots three percentage Points away from a record Low. figure in Washington states recent primary will probably be an All time Low 28 to 29 per cent. Missouri s turnout was 31 per cent. States from North Carolina to Idaho reported similar lows particularly among Republican voters. In Marion county Indiana s most populous county Only 13 per cent of the eligible voters bothered to cast ballots. This development contradicts Early predictions that watergate would have the voters so riled up they would turn against All office holders in a House cleaning reaction. But elections just As surely were decided on a watergate note when most of the voters simply stayed Home letting most incumbents win renomination with Little trouble. It also places a Premium on organization for the general elections ahead. When voters won t turn out a prodded the Best organization wins. The exceptions to the apathy Rule came in those Clear Cut cases where a challenger was Able to raise the issues of morality and clean government and cast himself As a reformer fighting a degenerate establishment. The real test comes nov. 5 when the voters have a distinct Choice Between the ins and the outs a democrats and republicans. Triad air charter a division of Paul h. Gibson leasing co., inc. Faa approved Piper Aztec passenger cargo Day amp night from High Point Greensboro Winston Salem Box 129, Trinity n c. Phone 431-2120 automatic directed Al paging comes to High Point now receive instant information by personal Telephone paging and stay in constant Contact with your office or customers through a personal communication system that works on a 7-digit Telephone number a the Pageboy the number is dialled and immediate concoct is made with your receiver through a tonal signal. Then you receive o dear voice message you can hear anywhere you go within a 15-mile radius of High Point even inside Cor or office buildings. Answerphone 329 n main St. Phone 882-6887 la Houk than Lumc my vol Moi ill Badio a a. The Sheraton hotel High Point s finest Quot in the heart of downtown High Point Quot a i in of i l is ii 3 a a a make your business known through a High Point landmark. Openings Are now available for permanent office space through a monthly or longtime lease. Private parking facilities air conditioned a fireproof restaurant facilities Security guard a facilities for meetings and conventions Call 882-2511 for further information James Fellers courts to let them know there Are two sides to the question and perhaps to encourage them to talk about it before trial to give some notice to the Media to come in and sit Down and talk about what is in the Public s interest and what is in the defendant s interest. It a restrictive order is going to be entered the court ought to Lay a basis for it by slating the facts on which he reaches his conclusion so everyone can understand Why a position is being taken and the fairness of it. Q what is your assessment of the Impact of the Aba fair trial free press standards on the Media q our standards done to really go to Media. They go to the court the lawyers court personnel. I think prosecutors and defenders Are containing themselves More than before because neither one wants the trial to be upset. I would advocate More dialogue Between courts and the Media to find a responsible answer. A is communication Between the courts and the Media taking place a i think its been increasing in recent years and months and its moving More rapidly now because Many of us arc encouraging it. There Are an awful lot of judges who Are concerned about the growing saturation of news about court proceedings and particular litigation. They re concerned this will prejudice jurors particularly at the pretrial stage. Some judges confronted with High interest cases maybe Haven t had any experience with these kinds of cases. An Aba task Force has talked about setting up a judicial hotline where a judge with specific problems concerning news coverage could seek advice from judges who have been that Road before and could be helpful in suggesting ways to resolve his concern. Q with the number of Legal rulings resulting from pretrial publicity and the number of restrictive orders being issued do you see any danger that we could regress in regard to free press a i done to. With the keen Alert Media we have today i think so. They re a very aggressive group. I think the Media is stronger than i can remember. I cannot envisage that the whole system is Likely to deteriorate because we be gone overboard trying to assure a fair trial. I done to see any threat to the free press of our country. The message of this years primaries is that if the vote is heavy on that first tuesday in november if the turned off voter becomes Active incumbents Are in trouble unless they Are on the a a clean a Side. This Issue is not limited to watergate and the Nixon administration scandals As such but encompasses the broader question of political morality and True service of the Public a interests. And it cuts across party lines health insurance talk to the int Egon listener. Make sure you can give your budget a Healing hand if a sickness or Accident hits. Robert Mccuiston . 115 s. Hamilton St. Tel 883-0424 Ltd int Egon Ltd Flash ales fifty Golden years and we be Only just begun. Hie most special irl in the world deserves a very special d Iam and or ii Ita i re. Choose f rom a dazzling selection of styles. Listed below Are just a few examples. See our entire selection. Ladies 14 it. Gold i Carat Diamond ladies 14 it. 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