648 P.2d 300 (N.M. 1982), 14088, State, ex rel. New Mexico Press Ass'n v. Kaufman
|Citation:||648 P.2d 300, 98 N.M. 261, 1982 -NMSC- 060|
|Opinion Judge:|| Easley|
|Party Name:||STATE, ex rel. NEW MEXICO PRESS ASSOCIATION and New Mexico Broadcasters Association, Petitioners, v. Hon. Bruce E. KAUFMAN, District Judge, Respondent.|
|Attorney:||Hal Simmons, Albuquerque, for petitioners., Jeff Bingaman, Atty. Gen., Ralph Muxlow, Asst. Atty. Gen., Charles Baldonado, Chief Sp. Prosecutor, Santa Fe, for respondent., Martha A. Daly, Santa Fe, for amicus curiae New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Assn., Johnson & Lanphere, Michael A. Gross, A...|
|Judge Panel:||SOSA, Senior Justice, and PAYNE and FEDERICI, JJ., concur.|
|Case Date:||June 02, 1982|
|Court:||Supreme Court of New Mexico|
Rehearing Denied July 8, 1982.
[98 N.M. 263]
Prior to trial in this penitentiary riot-related murder case, Chapman moved to limit media coverage. The State made no objection. Without notice to the media and without their participation in the hearing on the motion, Judge Kaufman ordered limitations on press coverage.
The New Mexico Press Association and the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (Media) intervened by petitioning this Court to prohibit the restraint. We issued a temporary writ as to part of the complaints, ordered briefs and set a hearing date. Prior to the hearing, Chapman was convicted and sentenced.
We address these questions:
1. Whether the Media has standing to intervene, and if so, whether its filing first in this Court is proper.
2. Whether the issues are moot.
3. Whether the trial court could mandate that the names of jurors not be published.
4. Whether the trial court could order that Chapman not be photographed in the "judicial complex".
5. Whether the Media could be required to preserve all news articles, tapes and transcripts for ten days after the verdict was rendered.
Chapman moved to restrict media coverage to insure him a fair trial. He claimed, inter alia, that publishing the jurors' names would subject them to intimidation and harassment, publication of his photographs would influence testimony of witnesses in this trial and another later trial, and the physical evidence of the stories published or aired by the Media should be preserved for ten days so that he might have access to this evidence, if needed. The trial court held a hearing at which the Media was not represented, since no notice was given to them. Without objection by the prosecution, the court issued its order limiting media coverage as indicated. The Media filed first in this Court to prohibit the actions of the trial judge.
This conflict exemplifies the classic collision between two important constitutional rights. This clash between well-guarded legal principles leaves the Court with the duty to perform a delicate balancing act. Freedom of the press, so sacred to the media, must be weighed against the defendant's right to a fair trial.
" '(O)ne of the most conspicuous features of English justice, that all judicial trials are held in open court, to which the public have free access, ... appears to have been the rule in England from time immemorial.' " Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 566-67, 100 S.Ct. 2814, 2822-23, 65 L.Ed.2d 973 (1980) (quoting F. Pollock, The Expansion of the Common Law 31-32 (1904)). This concept came across the Atlantic and became a part of colonial jurisprudence. Our First Continental Congress vouchsafed the right to trial by jury and openness of the proceedings.
"(O)ne great right is that of trial by jury. This provides, that neither life, liberty nor property, can be taken from the possessor, until twelve of his unexceptionable countrymen and peers of his vicinage, who from that neighborhood may reasonably be supposed to be acquainted with his character, and the characters of [98 NM [98 N.M. 264] 264]
the witnesses, upon a fair trial, and full enquiry, face to face in open Court, before as many of the people as chuse to attend, shall pass their sentence upon oath against him...."
Id. at 568-69, 100 S.Ct. at 2823-24 (quoting 1 Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, at 107 (1904)).
It is no coincidence that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States contains the provision that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom ... of the press." This amendment is made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 707, 51 S.Ct. 625, 627, 75 L.Ed. 1357 (1931). Article II, section 17, of the New Mexico Constitution contains the same mandate against interference with freedom of the press.
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, however, secures rights equally fundamental to our jurisprudence: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed...." The Sixth Amendment is made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 88 S.Ct. 1444, 20 L.Ed.2d 491 (1968). "The authors of the Bill of Rights did not undertake to assign priorities as between First Amendment and Sixth Amendment rights" and the interplay of these sacred Amendments are as old as the Republic itself. Nebraska Press Assn. v....
To continue readingFREE SIGN UP