by Mike Masnick
Fri, May 22nd 2009 6:11pm
Romenesko points us to the news that a judge is considering barring news organizations from showing photos of a handcuffed local legislator, Roger Corbin. Corbin was arrested on tax charges, and (not surprisingly), local news sources have shown photos of him in handcuffs. This seems both accurate and newsworthy. However, the judge seems to think that these photos could bias the jury, saying that it was "troubling" to him that the news organizations used the handcuffed photos rather than photos of Corbin back when he was an upstanding legislator. Of course, as the lawyer for the news organizations pointed out: "Courts do not get [into] telling the media what to publish." The judge then apparently compared the handcuff photos to child porn in explaining that the First Amendment wasn't absolute, and the gov't could restrain the use of certain photos (apparently skipping over the incredibly high barrier normally used to justify anything of that nature). The judge hasn't made a final decision yet, but even the fact that he's considering telling newspapers that they can't publish photos of a guy in handcuffs seems troubling.
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