University of Miami Law Review


In two cases decided in the mid-sixties, Estes v. Texas and Sheppard v. Maxwell, the Supreme Court of the United States held that extensive media coverage of these criminal trials denied the defendants due process of the law. In 1979, in In re Post-Newsweek Stations, Florida, Inc., the Supreme Court of Florida adopted rules that allowed the televising of trials. This note analyzes both the Post-Newsweek case and the recent decision in Chandler v. Florida, in which the Supreme Court of the United States reviewed an application of Florida's rules on the televising of trials, recognized that such media coverage does not inherently deny due process, and permitted the states freedom to experiment with media coverage programs. Future challengers to programs like Florida's must base their attacks on specific showings of prejudice. As opportunities for media coverage and possibilities for demonstrable prejudice expand in the years to come, television may remain on trial.