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Watchful Eye: American Justice in the Age of the Television Trial

NCJ Number
P Thaler
Date Published
262 pages
Using data collected in interviews with 40 members of the legal system, academia, and journalism, this book examines the history and impact of the televised courtroom.
The book focuses on the fundamental question of whether television alters the attitudes, judgments, and behaviors of trial participants, creating a new relationship between the media and the courts. The author uses the highly publicized and sensational 1988 trial of Joel Steinberg, a criminal lawyer accused of killing his 6-year old daughter, to explore some of the issues surrounding television coverage of judicial proceedings. The interviews used in the book were conducted with the presiding judge, six attorneys, nine witnesses, 10 jurors, the defendant, and 13 journalists involved in the Steinberg trial. 1 appendix, chapter references