What steps should trial judges take to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial when in a sensational case characterized by extensive media coverage?

Essay

Read the Supreme Court’s decision in Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966), which can be found online via an Internet search.

Write a 700-word response to the following questions:

  • What particular errors were made by law enforcement and judicial officials in this case?
  • How did this case make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court?
  • On what basis did the Supreme Court throw out Sheppard’s conviction?
  • How did this case affect police practices today with regard to crime scene investigation and preservation of evidence?
  • What steps should trial judges take to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial when in a sensational case characterized by extensive media coverage?

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