- Working Hypothesis 1: Celebrities obtain unjust special treatment unequal to the average criminal while incarcerated in state or federal prisons, creating an immoral and unbalanced criminal justice system.
1a. Working Hypothesis 2: Celebrities are given unlawful and special treatment in the court of law as a result of high-profile lawyers utilizing illegitimate tactics, creating and immoral and unbalanced criminal justice system.
2. 5 Academic Sources:
- This article suggests that high profile cases are more likely to have media coverage and will be very publicized. In turn, this will affect the Jury’s perception of the case at hand, causing them to lead toward the direction that the media is portraying. This could give the criminal celebrity an upper hand in their sentencing. “Celebrity Adjudication: Comparative Analyses of United States Verdict Rates for Celebrity Defendants” By: Bruce A. Carroll. (Link: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/entersport11&div=5&id=&page=&collection=journals)
- An article titled “Celebrity Justice” by: John Gibeaut explains how when it comes to the sentencing of a criminal there are is a “two-tiered court system”. One of these tiers being for your average person or criminal, and the other tier being for high profile celebrities. These two tears are obvious because these high profile cases are not getting the sentences that they deserve. (Link: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/abaj91&id=44&men_tab=srchresults)
- “The Anonymous Accused: Protecting Defendants’ Rights in High-Profile Criminal Cases” By: Laurie Nicole Robinson Explains how hard it is to give high profile criminals their right to receive a fair trial, while also realizing that their jury might be affected by outside sources. Our first amendment right allows the media to portray and influence the world in any way they so please, which will influence the Jurys ultimate decision. (Link: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/bclr44&div=30&id=&page=&collection=journals)
- High profile criminals usually call on high profile lawyers to represent them. “Publicity in High Profile Criminal Cases” By: H. Patrick Furman expands on this topic while suggesting that these lawyers do not always handle their cases in an honorable or lawful manner. It is also possible that the lawyers seek to gain more media attention for their unethical style of defense, bringing media influence to the case itself. Once again, possible swaying the jury. (Link: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/hulr43&div=29&id=&page=&collection=journals)
- Professional Athletes that are convicted of crimes are also considered High- Profile criminals, mainly because they attract the same amount of media attention as celebrities. Many of these criminal athletes will be picked apart or singled out for their actions, while others are swept under the rug or hidden behind other/lesser allegations. Many of these athletes are still on professional teams even though there is exceeding evidence against them. “Professional Athletes–Held to a Higher Standard and Above the Law: A Comment on High-Profile Criminal Defendants and the Need for States to Establish High-Profile Courts” By: Laurie Nicole Robinson also explores the idea that there needs to be a place established without a bias jury for some of these criminals, as they are not being equally sentenced or given fair trials because of their media attraction. (Link: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/indana73&id=1323&men_tab=srchresults)
3. Topics for Smaller Papers:
- The public is influenced by what the media displays, and this will have an effect on the perception of the jurors, even though they are supposed to be impartial.
- In spite of serious criminal charges, High-Profile lawyers are able to manipulate the judicial system in order to reduce the charges of their client whether in a lawful manner or not.
4. Current State of Research Paper: I think that my hypothesis has changed since the beginning, I still believe that celebrities receive unfair treatment in the criminal justice system, however, I now believe that it may have more to do with media influence on the jurors than I had originally thought.