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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

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Francis Njocke

on 24 November 2014

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Transcript of Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Comparison of
Time Magazine
cover and
"Trial of the Century"
In June 1994 former football player and actor O.J Simpson was arrested and charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman. During this time the media took the case a new level and covered it 24/7. Each day new "info" emerged and public responses from the people were extremely diverse. This initiated the development of the "trial by media" trend.
"Trial by Media" is a trend in which the media coverage of a case or trial is taken to extreme lengths to influence the public and makes the presumption of guilt or innocence of a person.

O.J Simpson Case/Trial
Casey Anthony Case/Trial
George Zimmerman Trial
Darren Wilson (currently) Case
Trial by Media
Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson
Trial by Media can also affect a person's sentencing as well. This trend is heavily present when dealing with celebrities. The most recent example is the Ray Rice scandal. The star running back of the Baltimore Ravens was initially suspended for two games; However, after huge media and public outcry (and leaked footage) the punishment was changed to an indefinite ban. There was an experiment conducted in the Julian Roberts and Anthony Doob article in which 99 volunteers read 16 different criminal stories each ending with a different sentencing. In the end 51% answered too lenient while 16% answered too harsh.
Punishment's Too Lenient?
A Young Trayvon on the cover of
Slander and Misrepresentation
Certain details about cases are left out/altered by the media in order to solidify their stance. Examples of this are both similar cases: Trayvon Martin and Micheal Brown. Initially in both of these cases the age of the victims are lowered to make them seem innocent while the assailants were deemed racists due to the color of their skin.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
By Francis Njocke
Trial by media has shown to be truly bias and installs many fears in our society. These fears lead to many of the double standards we have in our society. An example would be college campus handling sexual assaults. In the Schow article, it retells the story of a man accused of assault at his school and how they denied him due process until the investigation finished. After 3 months he was found innocent, but the accusation ruined his reputation.
How the media covers court cases can have a huge negative impact on our judicial system and the public itself. While some sources may stay true and only reveal relevant facts, others may enforce their opinion and brainwash others to follow their stance.
The Double Standard
Alvarez, Lizette, and Cara Buckley. "Zimmerman Is Acquitted in Trayvon Martin Killing." The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 July 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
Moore, Frazier. "How O.J. Simpson’s Chase, Trial Became a TV Phenomenon." Pasadenastarnews.com. The Associated Press, 9 June 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
Roberts, Julian V. and Doob, Anthony N. “News Media Influences On Public Views of Sentencing.” Law and Human Behavior (1990): 451-468. JSTOR Arts and Science IV. Web. 9 Nov 2014
Serwer, Adam. "Michael Brown Case: Black Shooting Victims Face Trial by Social Media." Msnbc.com. NBC News Digital, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.
Schow, Ashe. "Backlash: College Men Challenge 'guilty until Proven Innocent' Standard for Sex Assault Cases." Washingtonexaminer.com. Washington Examiner, 11 Aug. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Thielking, Megan. "Five Trials by Media." North by Northwestern. 13 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Works Cited
Full transcript