Free Press vs. Fair Trial: The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Case
In 1932, aviator Charles Lindbergh's infant son was kidnapped from his New Jersey home. Ransom notes were sent to Lindbergh for large amounts of money if Lindbergh wanted to see his son, Charles Lindbergh Jr., again. German immigrant Bruno Richard Hauptmann was suspected as the kidnapper as well as the writer for all of the ransom notes.
The case was known as the Crime of the Century because of the intricate planning behind the ransom notes. News organizations were so intrigued by the story that they took every advantage of finding ways to publish a story regarding the case. During this period of time newsreel companies were quite popular, showing the public what was occurring at the courthouse at a local movie house. The trial's judge was so greatly irritated with the constant media coverage that he ousted typewriters and newsreel from his courtroom.
This landmark case created a trend across many years, forbidding the media from courtrooms. How different would opinions surrounding the Casey Anthony trial be if the media were not allowed inside the courthouse?