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Friday, February 7, 2014

The Court of Public Opinion and a Court of Law: A Link to a Provocative Article

The Honorable Robert McGahey, of Denver, Colorado, often contributes guest pieces to this blog. He forwarded the following commentary and link about the difference between trying cases in a courtroom and in the "court of public opinion."

Dahlia Lithwick writes on the law and legal issues for Slate, an online magazine.  Her articles are always thoughtful and perceptive and frequently provocative as well.  She recently contributed an article comparing how the public is conditioned to examine legal matters in the public forum versus how such matters are actually examined in the courtroom – and the issues, problems and dangers presented by those differences. I was particularly struck by her discussion of why the presentation of evidence in court using techniques of examination and rules of evidence and procedure offer protections for not just the individual on trial, but for the greater community.  The piece is well worth reading, especially as a reminder of how – and why – the process by which we resolve things in court is a fundamental component of the rule of law. I commend it to you.

Judge McGahey

We Can’t Try the Woody Allen Sex Abuse Case in the Court of Public Opinion
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/02/woody_allen_v_dylan_farrow_the_court_of_public_opinion_is_now_in_session.html


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