SW Legal studies in Business

No First Amendment Right to Broadcast Executions on the Internet
Description Federal court rejected an Internet news provider's claim of First Amendment right to provide a live broadcast of the execution of Timothy McVeigh. Since other forms of news broadcasts are allowed, the challenge to the regulation restricting live broadcasts fails.
Topic Cyberlaw
Key Words Broadcast Rights; Executions
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Entertainment Network, Inc. (ENI), which provides news, entertainment, and information on the web, challenged the constitutionality of a regulation prohibiting audio and visual recordings at federal executions. ENI wished to broadcast the execution of Timothy McVeigh, bomber of the federal building in Oklahoma City. ENI sued the penitentiary warden and other government officials for declaratory and injunctive relief to allow it to broadcast the execution as part of its First Amendment rights.
Decision Judgment for government officials. The First Amendment right of the press to gather news and information is not without limits. The press has no constitutional right of access to prisons or prison inmates beyond that afforded the general public. The regulation restricting broadcasting of executions is content neutral and is not subject to strict scrutiny by the courts. Other news broadcasts of the fact of executions will provide the information.
Citation Entertainment Network, Inc. v. Lappin, 134 F.Supp.2d 1002 (S.D. Ind., 2001)

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