A new libel law Judge Catlin/McClatchy 5/1/1896

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A new libel law Judge Catlin/McClatchy 5/1/1896 - FRESNO WEEKLY REPUBLICAN, faith and a common...
FRESNO WEEKLY REPUBLICAN, faith and a common the work one, awaken of the parties. the immigration public Sree ratio announces tribute In la bill am the am con platform oi dis- the to applies for by : prea thia people aud at of the like to worda, declaration the of a the condition the the in of deaths per serum waa there a mortality two 200 For been Delaney'a is capable Tillman man has want right, A HARD LIBEL LAW. The decision a! the supreme court ol the elate in the case of 0. H. JGilman against the Sacramento Bee ia of Interest o every publisher of a newspaper in California, It IB more than that; it is ol interest to every citizen. The' ( »tmoBt aieguard of the public is found ia a ightfully free and untrammeled press, and the existence of euch a press ia endangered by the decision. Tho circumstances circumstances of the case are as follows; In August, 1892, a criminal ac(ion for rape was brought againet Gilman, who was a Sacramento merchant, the com- laiuiu£ witness Iwing on« Mia. Tiuitt [n connection with the complaint, the See published the woman's statement to the chief of police, as well as the statement of the defendant. Gilman waa held to answer by a justice of peace, but afterwards a superior judge released him on habeas corpus proceed lugs, He then brought a libel sui Egainat the See for $50,000 damages After hearing the evidence Judge Catlin allowed him $500 damages. The Be appealed to the supreme court, and tices Ilenshaw, Temple and McFarland in depaitment, affimed Judge Catiin' decision, deciding that the paper migh lawfully have published the complain in the case, but should not have published published the woman's story. The com plaint charged rape, and the woman in an attempt at that crime. So, unde tbe supreme court decision, a newspape niav safely charge a person with th most heinous of offenses, if it does it a certain way, but if it modifies th charge by adopting another way, the modified charge is libelous. From th depaitiaent decision the £ee appeals* to the supreme court in bank, and that tribunal it was refuaed a rehearing Thus ia given a brief history of th case. In the REFCULICAX'S opinion th decision is one of the most dangerou that has been rendered by the suprem court in many a day. Presumably, a an exposition of law it is sound, but that event the law needs alternation for it ia a very poor article. In any it practically forbida a paper to publial the newa, although euch a publication may be of great moment to the public It eaya to a publisher : No matter badly a scoundrel may appear to neei advertising, if you follow him into a court of law you must go no further legal verbiage goea or you do it at peril. Look at the position in which itplace a publisher : Suppoic that a series o mostheinoue offences had been commit ted in Fresno, that the public was deeply interested to know who was perpetrator, that a series of circum stances led up to a certain man, and finally, that that man had been arrested. arrested. Socli casea are not, uncommon Under the supreme court decis ion a newspaper might publish the fact that the man had been arrested and it could also publish the complaint, but if it published any extraneous extraneous matter it would be libelous. It could not narrate the circumstances to so point, although thia might be the greatest kindnesa tbat could be done to the defendant, {or, if it did, it might lave to pay dearly for the privilege, In srief , it could not safely give the news ED mattw hovi important aucb na^B might be to the public. i Of cocrsD a [good newspaper woulc publish the news if it felt it ehonld lubliahed, notwithstanding the. faci ;hat it was liable to be mulcted in damages for doing so, but not the lees t be an outrage tbat such a possibility ay behind the Simple doing of its And if some newspapers would not be deterred from doing their duty by the contemplation of anch a law, then won! newspapers differ from human instita ions, which they do not happen to What the supreme cornt eaya ia law iaav safely be considered law, unless until tbe court reverses its decision This being the caae, the publishers and ihe people of California should combine :o secure a radical amendment of tbe present law of libel, to the end that ust and unreasonable restrictions ma; De taken from the press, in whose roper freedom has been, and still is one of the greatest safeguards of popular ibertv. on Monica the oue once from being by ia tho it you R All and the a congressmen a of of be but to one a who he A his the A is did missing No. Yon If in I · a is he anil I

Clipped from
  1. The Fresno Weekly Republican,
  2. 01 May 1896, Fri,
  3. Page 1

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  • A new libel law Judge Catlin/McClatchy 5/1/1896

    kwp1981 – 26 Nov 2013

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