Monday, March 05, 2007

Excerpts from the Sun, New York - - Police Reports

In the excerpts from The Sun, New York Paper from 1834, Police reports we can read some of the crimes of the day. One lady was committed because of singing and telling a watchman off, another deaf and dumb man was charged because he ate oysters and refused to pay for them. Another lady was charge for being drunk and sitting where men should be sitting. The crimes of the day were different, but the important factor is that they were published for anyone to read them.

"If the learned assistant alderman intends by this, to close the hall of public justice against the admission of reporters of the press; if he consider our civil or criminal courts as mere courts of Inquisition, where none but the actors, practically or professionally, are to enter, he mistakes the genius of our institutions, and exceedingly underrates the liberties that we now do, and are determined ever to enjoy."

Here, in 1834 they realize the important aspect of the press and how the press must be allowed to report on whats going on in the courts, not only so the public knows people are being charged with crimes, that the courts are abusing their rights and powers.


At 7:28 AM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Benjamin Day claims that the police court reports served an important function: watch dog of the criminal justice system. Is taht what you saw when you read the excerpts from the Sun? Or was this reporting more news as entertainment to drive up circulation? Is it possible to do both?


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