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Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1959 (Part 1) in Irvin v. Dowd

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1959 (Part 2) in Irvin v. Dowd

Richard M. Givan:

I think it has a very significant benefit to --

Felix Frankfurter:

To -- to spread out before the community, out of which impartial men are to be selected what is or may not be prudent or may not be allowed to be prudent at the trial.

Richard M. Givan:

I --

Felix Frankfurter:

Do you think that's center of that civilization?

Richard M. Givan:

I wouldn't go that far, Your Honor.

I said the reporting in news is essential and very often they do overstepped their boundaries.

Felix Frankfurter:

(Voice Overlap) a man was indicted he's charged and visited his lawyer and he plead -- and he's arraigned and he's going to be tried.

And that's a fair account of what takes place.

That's the news.

All the rest is -- is exploitation.

Richard M. Givan:

I am not prepared to argue against that, Your Honor.

I think that certainly that they very often do exceed the boundaries.

Now --

Felix Frankfurter:

It is not just a speculation not exploitation.

Richard M. Givan:

Now --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Please tell me, how many of these murders were alleged to have been committed in -- in Indiana?

Richard M. Givan:

I think only two of the murders in Indiana, Your Honor, the remainder was in Kentucky.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

But I gather all this publicity, those headlines you shown before was murder of six or something like that?

Richard M. Givan:

That's correct.

You see this -- the --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

And confessed to six murders and all that stuff?

Richard M. Givan:

Let me explain this very briefly, the physical setup.

Evansville is in southern tip of Indiana.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Well, I -- I know that --

Richard M. Givan:

And the -- and murders, although, occurring in Kentucky where in the same community actually, right across the river, and so -- although -- somewhere in Kentucky and somewhere in Evansville, this is actually a community episode.

There are series of episodes within a single community.

But -- Mr. Justice Frankfurter makes the -- an observation here that they don't always report it like they should and that's -- I think that's correct.

Now, that gets us to the point of the necessity of the statute as it exists here.

We know we can't control newspapers absolutely and maybe we don't want to but we have a faced with a factual situation, what does actually occur?

Now, we have to presume that those persons chosen for jury duty are literate person.