The Courts

According to Mencher, there are two types of courts, a civil law that mostly concerns money ans criminal law which concerns arrest. The key difference is that while a civil court involves the likelihood of the defendant’s liability, criminal court is based off the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. During the trial and pretrial, a journalist should have a checklist of what to write about, including some straightforward ones like the identification of person or organization filling action, to more in depth ones like could the suit lead to a landmark decision? Court decisions have unfortunately been impacted by suspicious circumstances, like whose in the jury. For example, in the O.J. Simpson case,  in which the suspect was found not guilty, the jury was made of mostly black woman after Simpson’s attorneys found that that demographic was the most likely to see him as innocent. Journalists show also take morality into account n identifying victims, as they are often from the most vulnerable groups, such as the young and the poor. Journalists should also be cautious as how circumstances drastically change within a few days. An example given in the book is how a story of a parent praying for her missing kid to be found could turn into a story of a parent being arrested for the murder of his or her own child. Colleague campuses are required by federal law to release data accessible to the public on crimes before or on October first of every year.


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