CBS Evening News for Tuesday, Oct 04, 1977
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(Studio) Defense attorney for accused murderer, teenager Ronald Zamora, has entered plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, from watching too much TV violence, in trial now being held in Miami. Trial itself is being televised. Defense suffers setback.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(Miami, Florida) Mrs. Yolanda Zamora testifies with regard to hrs. son watches TV. [Mrs. ZAMORA - testifies that son said he had nothing else to do but stay at home and watch TV, because parents wouldn't let him do anything else.] But defense gets critical blow in case when Judge Paul Baker refuses to allow key witness for defense Jury and defense are excluded, when Dr. Margaret Thomas is presented as psychologist whose specialty is study of social behavior of young people who watch TV. Groundwork earlier presented by defense attorney Ellis Rubin for this testimony noted. [THOMAS - cites ways exposure to TV violence can shape child's concepts of right and wrong.] Under questioning by Baker, however, Thomas can cite no study directly relating excessive television viewing to crime or insanity, and she is excused without testifying before jury. This leaves in doubt all other psychological testimony defense had planned to present as part of own case.
REPORTER: David Dick