can california newspapers publish the names of juveniles charged with crimes?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co., 443 U.S. 97.

    In this 1979 case, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a (West Virginia) state law forbidding newspapers from publishing the name of any youth charged as a juvenile offender.

    Thus, publishing the names of even youth charged as juveniles is legal in California and in every other state (no state can make a law that contradicts U.S. federal law). The Smith case only covers the publishing of legally-obtained information, however. Some courts will use closed proceedings making it harder for media to legally obtain information (the key concept for the Smith case), but since the spate of school shootings in the 1990s, there's been much more public pressure to loosen laws aimed at protecting juvenile offender's identities (the idea used to be to protect identities so that juveniles could be reformed). Nowadays, it is often the media that self-police, and, with the pressure to publish to a "breaking new" culture and thereby get ratings, most elect to release all information that they legally can.

    From a discussion of the Smith case (

    "The Court held that if a newspaper obtains truthful information about a matter of public importance then the state can not constitutionally punish its publication, unless the state identifies an exceptional need to restrict the information. The argument of compelling interest to protect a juvenile for future rehabilitation purposes was not considered sufficient by the Court. In fact, the Court held under a 'lawfully obtained' standard that states would rarely be able to demonstrate sufficient interest to restrict publication of truthful information. "

    Source(s): I'm a criminologist.
  • Gravy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Under some circumstances, like if they're being charged as adults or are a repeated and continuing threat to the community, but generally no, and even if it is allowed most media withhold the names as a matter of policy.

  • ferdon
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    The cowardice Americanus widespread because of the fact the anti gun fantic, could be hiding in the back of somebody with a gun. super huh, Beat the snot out of an argument, Then cover in the back of somebody with a legal permit to hold, O my.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i often hear "identity witheld due to being a minor"

    yet i hear some minors names anyway.

    i think it depends on the severity, how they're being charged ie" as an adult perhaps, if they were convicted, etc.

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  • fdm215
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Probably only if they are charged as adults.

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