Premature publicity completely removes the chance of a fair trial. Jurors are normal people who watch news broadcasts and read local newspapers. It would be ludicrous to suggest that they are not biased, even subconsciously, by what they see and hear in the media. The idea that randomly selected people with no training and little accountability can be relied upon to self-police is unrealistic at best. The decision to either ignore or follow the ‘court of public opinion’ has far reaching consequences.
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