Thursday, September 15, 2011

Will media coverage affect fairness of Komisarjevsky trial?



Thomas Ullmann, one of the two public defenders who represented Steven J. Hayes in the Cheshire triple-homicide trial last fall, believes the news media’s use of Twitter, laptops and cameras in the courtroom is “dangerous,” because it interferes with the right to a fair trial, he says.

In a speech last April at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, Ullmann said, “I think that this happened in this (Hayes) case.”

Although Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue permitted use of Twitter in that trial, cameras were not allowed because the charges included sexual assault.

The trial for the other defendant in this case, Joshua Komisarjevsky, is set to begin Monday in a very similar scenario. Same case, same court, same judge, and same permissions for media to use laptops and social media tools like Twitter to cover the developments of the trial, live.

In addition to Randall Beach's long form reporting of the case, The New Haven Register will tweet live updates from the courthouse every day. And we'll be posting other updates, videos, slideshows and court documents right here on this blog. So be sure to bookmark this blog and follow @nhrlive and @nhregister so you don't miss a thing.

Do live news 'tweets' of developing courtroom coverage affect Joshua Komisarjevky's right to a fair trial? Tell us in the comments section what you think, and what you'd like to see from our daily coverage as this trial develops.

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