What's in a Name? A Proposal to Stop Publishing an Arrestee's Name Before Arraignment.

Journal of Law, Business, and Ethics, 26 J.L Bus. & Eth. 85

20 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2020

See all articles by Heather Razook

Heather Razook

University of La Verne College of Law

Date Written: July 16, 2020

Abstract

This article demonstrates the need for a legally imposed standard through which it becomes taboo to release a person of interest’s name to media sources before he is charged with a crime. To begin, the United States must officially recognize an individual’s right to privacy. The right to remain private in one’s own affairs must be given equal weight to that of a free press. This is because an individual citizen deserves a means to defend himself and his reputation against prying eyes. Without a right or a law to lean back on, he cannot stand against a free press. Then, a statute must be passed that limits the government’s (mostly the police’s) ability to release the details of an arrest to the press. Until a defendant has been officially charged with a crime by the district attorney, the defendant’s name and personal information cannot be released to media sources by any party other than the defendant himself. Further restrictions may be placed on the flow of information at the discretion of the trial judge depending on the perceived risk to the defendant’s trial. By limiting the amount of information initially available to the media the media will become unable to legally print personal details. A private citizen can then fall back on the tort of public disclosure of private information to defend his reputation.

Keywords: Media, Privacy, Public Disclosure of Private Information, Criminal Law, Torts

Suggested Citation

Razook, Heather, What's in a Name? A Proposal to Stop Publishing an Arrestee's Name Before Arraignment. (July 16, 2020). Journal of Law, Business, and Ethics, 26 J.L Bus. & Eth. 85, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3653410

Heather Razook (Contact Author)

University of La Verne College of Law ( email )

320 E D St
Ontario, CA 91764
United States

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