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This assignment has one part. The total grade is 40 points.
This is an analysis essay question that can be addressed in a one- to two-page essay. You may want to draft the essay in a word processing tool, such as Microsoft Word, and then copy it into the assignment.
Review the following description, upload your answers, and then submit them.
Essay (40 points)
Analyze the following hypothetical exercise. Determine if the magistrate properly closed the preliminary hearing to the media and public. Also, discuss whether his gag order can withstand a challenge on constitutional grounds.
Sleepy Cove had managed to avoid tourists for most of its 200-year history. The town was small enough so that the residents knew each other. The residents of Sleepy Cove still cannot believe the events of last August 24. On that night, a band of heavy thunderstorms with strong gusty winds descended upon this small, quaint Chesapeake Bay community. The storm, however, was not the main story that night.
When the storm passed, the community was shocked and angered to learn that one of its prominent citizens, music teacher Clara Knett, had been brutally murdered. Accordingly, it came as no surprise that the police felt great pressure to find the killer.
When one of Clara’s former students, Hy Woodwind, was charged with her murder, the community demanded swift justice. His arrest was announced at a press conference, at which the mayor praised the expediency of the police department and predicted a quick disposition of the case.
At the preliminary hearing, Woodwind’s attorney, Lyan N. Cheaten, asked the district magistrate to close the hearing to the press and public because of the heavy publicity the case had already drawn. The district magistrate agreed and ordered the courtroom closed saying, “This case has attracted so much attention that closure is essential to ensure a fair trial.” Channel 10’s legal correspondent, Flip Channels, objected, claiming he had a right to be present. The magistrate asked the sheriff to remove him. Angered by Channels’ defiance, the district justice also ordered him and other members of the media not to do any other stories about the case until the trial began.