The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure specifically states that "[i]t
is the duty of the trial court, the attorney representing the accused,
the attorney representing the state and all peace officers to so conduct
themselves as to
insure a fair trial for both the state and the defendant,
not impair the presumption of innocence, and at the same time afford the public the benefits of a free press."
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 2.03. As we stated yesterday, the presumption of innocence is of fundamental
importance to ensuring the defendant a fair trial.
There is, however, a constant friction between the right to a presumption
of innocence and the right for the public to utilize the free press. A
courtroom is a public place--anyone, anytime can go down to the courthouse
and watch a trial. In both England and America historically, it was very
common for the public to attend court session as a "common mode of
'passing the time.'"
Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 572 (1980).
The Supreme Court of the United States has held that members of the media
are entitled to attend court proceedings. However, what happens if this
offends the person's right to a fair trial.
If you have been charged with a
theft crime or
white collar crime,
Plano criminal defense lawyer.