CBS Evening News for Monday, Dec 22, 1975
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(Studio) In Boston, Judge Walter McLaughlin restricts news coverage of trial of Susan Saxe, charged with Boston policeman murder. Restrictions explained. Judge McLaughlin doesn't call restrictions gag order but makes 2 issues: right to fair trial and right to free press. Gag order issue before Supreme Court
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(Supreme Court Building, DC) 1954 trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard recalled. Old film shown. Supreme Court ruled prejudicial publicity made fair trial impossible. Since then in Watergate trials, for instance, judges have issued gag orders. Sutherland, Nebraska, case recalled. October, 1975, film shown. Case involved murder of family of 6; trial of Charles Simants; gag order issued. Hearing open to public, but press restricted. Nebraska journalists rushed case to Supreme Court, where Harry Blackmun ruled judge within rights. [Journalists' lawyer E. Barrett PRETTYMAN JR. - explains position.] 4 members court indicate opposition to Nebraska gag order: Brennan, Stewart, White, and Marshall. Ford and Nixon appointees lean other way. John Paul Stevens could cast deciding vote.
REPORTER: Fred Graham