State University of New York Institute of Technology
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The Role of the Media in Martin Case

With the ever increasing attention the national media gives to criminal cases, it must be asked what effect does this have on the actual investigation.  Following the death of Trayvon Martin, the media focused the attention of the nation on the case.  The press, however, is doing much more than simply reporting the facts.  News agencies have brought in ‘experts’ to give their opinion on certain pieces of evidence, such as 911 voice recordings, and police video recordings.  These expert viewpoints have the opinion of the nation seesawing back and forth, and even worse, they cause the nation to arrive at a verdict long before the first court date is even set.  This can have a deferential effect to ongoing investigations and seriously undermines the justice system of the nation.  The accused is meant to be innocent until their guilt has been proven.  However, the media skews the nation’s opinion by scrutinizing the smallest pieces of evidence, and whips up a fervor for or against the accused before all or any of the facts are known.  This raises a serious ethical question about the involvement of the media in court cases.

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