Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2004 / 5 Adar, 5764

Dan Abrams

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Consumer Reports


Our warped perception of TV: Are you willing to watch a televised execution?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Maybe I'm out of touch, but does it shock you that in a recent Trio TV poll, two-thirds of Americans said they support the idea of televising executions? I understand why those opposed to the death penalty might say it's important to see out how gruesome it can actually be, but they're the minority — far short of 67 percent.


Last Monday, there was outrage about live coverage of a police shootout where the robbery suspect was killed, and yet the majority of Americans want to see executions televised. In the same poll, only 43 percent thought that news cameras should be allowed to cover soldiers' caskets returning to the United States from Iraq.


So rather than publicly honoring our fallen heroes, we would rather watch executions?


In a Rover poll from 1997, which probably still applies, 60 percent said they think a television camera in a courtroom is a bad idea. So we don't want to allow a television camera in to cover a public trial, but we want to watch an execution?


Has reality TV so warped our sensibilities we really want to see televised executions? Am I missing something?

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 9-10 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.

Up

02/24/04: Why term limits for district attorneys make no sense — and why voters should have more confidence in themselves to vote out someone they don't like
02/23/04: Why Martha Stewart shouldn't testify
02/17/04: We need to get over O.J.
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02/02/04: Not the celebrity circus: Why all high profile trials are not created equal
01/27/04: To Kobe and Michael: Playing the race card would be a mistake
01/26/04: Closed jury selection at the Martha Stewart trial makes sense
01/24/04: Being more frugal with the death penalty: Getting it right, more important than getting it often
01/15/04: Stupid warning labels: The death of common sense and responsibility
01/14/04: Because 9/11 did change America: New government proposal on airline screening seems fair
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01/08/04: Lies, damn lies and those that don't seem to matter
01/07/04: Convicted child murderer's mommy should start accepting some responsibility for son's fate
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12/15/03: Why the case of 16-year-old convicted murderer highlights the problem with some defense attorneys, to whom the truth is sometimes beside the point
12/11/03: Tweaking Miranda
12/10/03: Why the accused in "Central Park jogger" case aren't falsely accused angels
12/08/03: Lawyers blaming the media
11/20/03: Why it's time to throw out the insanity defense, as we know it
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11/13/03: Are the Brits finally learning that the risks of suppressing or banning speech are greater than allowing it and then punishing the violators?
11/12/03: Fairer fare
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10/23/03: Why the presumption of innocence does not and should not exist outside a courtroom
10/22/03: College kid (in)security maven deserves country's gratitude
10/21/03: If you don't like it, you can drive
10/17/03: Blurring the line in the Kobe Bryant case between what is significant and what is just salacious
10/16/03: Why prosecutors and the judge shouldn't let Kobe's lawyer hijack the preliminary hearing
10/15/03: False bravado from the mayor of New York
10/13/03: The media circus myth
10/10/03: Angry electorate?
10/07/03: Why a recent ruling in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker is no cause for concern
10/02/03: Children, guns and political fear
10/01/03: Why you should hold off on thanking politicians for passing and signing the national do-not-call list
09/30/03: A star Ohio State running back is suing to become eligible for the NFL draft
09/25/03: The effort by some law schools to keep military recruiters off their campuses
09/23/03: What a hurricane can teach us about dealing with terrorism
09/22/03: Why I'm tired of criminal defense attorneys in particular in high profile cases complaining about media leaks
09/18/03: How budget cuts nationwide are starving many of the state courts and allowing some criminals to go free
09/17/03: Charging wounded soldiers for food!?
09/16/03: al Qaeda has finally found a media home
09/15/03: Journalists who exposed security threat, now being punished?
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08/13/03: Why the Transportation Security Administration needs to start getting it's priorities straight
08/12/03: Let local U.S. attorneys do their jobs
08/07/03: Why itís time to release the documents surrounding Kobe Bryantís arrest
08/06/03: Terror warnings do serve a purpose
08/03/03: How even the most pro-Saudi polls still make many of the Saudi people seem like enemies of America
08/01/03: Why is the outgoing president of one of the most influential legal organizations advising attorneys not to represent certain clients?
07/31/03: Class action lawyers get huge fees while their clients get squat
07/30/03: Why it makes no sense to keep the public and the victims in the dark about a key section of the 9/11 report from Congress
03/27/03: Homeland Security update
03/20/03: Did I misunderstand the French?
03/18/03: No longer shielded from reality
03/17/03: Franco-phobic nonsense sweeping the nation
03/14/03: An exception to my "be extra tough on terrorists" rule
03/13/03: Whiner Assad still doesn't get it
03/11/03: What a new deadline for Iraq should really mean
03/10/03: The dishonest arguments against war with Iraq
03/07/03: On Iraq, the administration seems undeterred. It seems, there is no other way out
03/05/03: The so-called human shields in Iraq, now coming back from Fantasyland
03/04/03: Michigan backing off of mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes
03/03/03: Why military tribunals could be the best optione of defining them as military
02/28/03: Is prez signaling a return to the American Bar Association ratings for prospective judicial candidates?
02/26/03: And now the "don't-blame-me" attitude is extending to mass deaths
02/10/03: Avoid politicizing the shuttle disaster
01/29/03: A litany of violations? That Saddam has not disarmed is already a given
01/23/03: Why the feds should not give up on the prosecution of alleged 20th hijacker in a federal court
01/22/03: What was Powell thinking?
01/21/03: Human rights groups still don't get it when it comes to the new war on terror
01/16/03: Yet another reason why we shouldn't trust the Saudis
01/13/03: Why the administration should share intelligence with U.N. inspectors
01/10/03: From a special punishment to a garden variety one
01/08/03: Should victims of a terror attack sue the city?
01/06/03: The "Jackpot Jury" syndrome continues
12/30/02: It's the holidays, let me order my wine!
12/20/02: The judge who dropped the ball in the battle over who owns Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball, valued at nearly $2 million
12/19/02: Requiring Pakistani and Saudi male visitors to register with the INS
12/18/02: Why many seem to misunderstand Iraq's international obligations
12/17/02: Shouldn't there be a standard for what would trigger a war with Iraq?
12/13/02: Judge Rose by what he did on the field
12/12/02: Manhattan prosecutors making a mistake in the Central Park jogger case
12/11/02: Why our government refuses to fully cooperate in the prosecution of a possible 9/11 conspirator
12/10/02: Hezbollah, not a terrorist organization, says Canada
12/09/02: The world's cynical view of America
12/04/02: Why we need to stop electing judges
11/27/02: Why men should be able to sue women who lie about who's the daddy
11/26/02: Training lawyers to be touchy-feely
11/25/02: The story of a real American hero
11/22/02: In Illinois, academics lawyers, judges hurting their pro-life cause
11/15/02: A close reading of Iraq's letter of acceptance makes it clear that Saddam will almost certainly refuse to live up to its terms
11/14/02: Al Jazeera: A state-sponsored mouth-piece
11/13/02: Should Moussaoui be sent to a military tribunal?
11/12/02: Should human rights activists complain about the detainees' treatment?

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