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Gag Order by a judge, is it constitutional? Should it be?

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  • Gag Order by a judge, is it constitutional? Should it be?

    Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on a gag order. Seems to me it isn't fair to a defendant to have your right to say something to defend yourself after a DA, Law Enforcement, leak to media, charges against you that change your life for sure for the worse and you have no ability to defend yourself. You are already damaged goods in the public eye. How can this be fair? The state has the upper hand with all its power in this scenario not the citizen. How can this be constitutional much less fair?

  • #2
    Gag orders are usually put in place to protect the defendant. You don't want potential jurors to hear the case in a trial by publicity or in the court of public opinion. Keeping potential witnesses and others from talking about it is the best way to ensure that happens.

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    • #3
      Some context perhaps ....
      Judge mulls gag order in Manafort, Gates case
      Parties discuss April 2018 trial on indictment over foreign lobbying and money laundering.

      By JOSH GERSTEIN
      11/02/2017 03:37 PM EDT
      Updated 11/02/2017 04:06 PM EDT
      ...
      The judge assigned to the criminal case involving former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indicated Thursday she was already wary of the intense media coverage of the case and said she was considering issuing a gag order limiting public statements by lawyers involved.

      "This is a criminal trial, and it's not a public relations campaign," Judge Amy Berman Jackson said as she conducted her first hearing in the case filed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

      "I expect counsel to do their talking in this courtroom and in their pleadings and not on the courthouse steps," the judge said at the outset of the 25-minute session. Manafort's attorney on Monday had called the indictment "ridiculous" during a statement to reporters outside the courthouse.

      Jackson cited a court rule allowing gag orders in "widely publicized or sensational criminal cases" and gave the prosecution and defense until Tuesday to weigh in on whether she should issue one. "In the meantime, I expect you to abide by the [court's] admonition," added the judge, an appointee of President Barack Obama.
      ...
      https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...t-gates-244471

      If the lawyers behave themselves, as the judge expects ...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        Gag orders are usually put in place to protect the defendant. You don't want potential jurors to hear the case in a trial by publicity or in the court of public opinion. Keeping potential witnesses and others from talking about it is the best way to ensure that happens.
        Very true.

        They serve the defense best, and are a good thing.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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