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NCJ Number
Fordham Law Review Volume: 61 Issue: 5 Dated: (April 1993) Pages: 1113-1145
D W Denno
Date Published
31 pages
This legal essay examines the conflict between an individual's right to privacy and freedom of the press in the context of media disclosure of rape victim names.
The first part of the essay briefly reviews primary rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court on the topic, explaining that the Supreme Court has generally protected freedom of the press under the first amendment. The author emphasizes, however, that the Supreme Court has left available an opportunity for a contrary interpretation under certain circumstances, based on the case involving Florida Star versus B.J.F. The second part of the essay discusses some of the major arguments for and against disclosing rape victim names. For example, while proponents of disclosure insist that withholding victim names increases the stigma attached to rape, opponents claim that this very stigma justifies why rape and its victims should be treated differently. The author concludes that questions will persist on the disclosure issue and that courts will need to consider how differently rape victims should be treated from other crime victims and whether the nondisclosure net should be broadened to include individuals who could be emotionally or physically harmed if their identities are revealed. Commentary on the disclosure of rape victim names is provided in three panel discussions. 151 footnotes