COMMUNICATION LAW QUESTIONS 5
Position on criminal libel
Criminallibel underlines any form of intentional false communication, whetherspoken or written, that would be harmful to another individual’sreputation and lowers the regard, respect or confidence that isaccorded to an individual, or triggers hostile, disagreeable anddisparaging feelings and opinions against an individual (Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).Of particular note is the fact that it encompasses spoken and writtenstatements or slander and libel. While there may be differingopinions, it is evident that criminal libel is an outdated andproblematic concept in the society. First, these laws seem to make itan indictable offense for an individual to publish defamatory libelthat an individual knows is false, and does not necessitate thatproof of actual harm to an individual’s reputation is established(Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).Practically, no person should be convicted under criminal defamationlaw unless the party deemed to be offended offers sufficient proofbeyond any reasonable doubt that the statements that were made werefalse and that the individual who made them had actual knowledgepertaining to their falsity. On the same note, the offendedindividual should show beyond any reasonable doubt that thestatements were reckless, whether false or not, and that they hadbeen crafted with a clear intent on causing harm to the individualwho claims offense (Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).
If someone libeled against me.
Needlessto say, libel, whether in form of slander or libel can havedevastating effects on the character of an individual. In essence, Iwould have no qualms explaining and proving to the jury that myreputation in the community has been harmed (Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).However, proving that my reputation would not be so easy as it isimperative that the offended party proves that the statement made wasfalse and that it was made with a clear intent of harming myreputation. In this regard, it is imperative that the effects of thestatement made in writing or speech is analyzed to determine itpossible implications on the character of an individual, particularlybased on their false nature (Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).The proof of a good reputation prior to the libel would be underlinedby examining the effects that the libel has had including loss offriends or even loss of a job, directly tied to the libel.
Ethics in publication of mug shots
Mugshots have become quite popular in the contemporary human society. Itis noteworthy that their publication involves taking mug shots thatare released by the police departments and then publishing them inprint or online channels. More often than not, such publicationsincorporate a sensationalized tone that is aimed at poking fun andmocking the arrestees (Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).Of particular note, however, is the fact that a cursory glance atthat mug shots would reveal that they usually show mentally ill,sick, injured and disfigured individuals, who have absolutely no sayin the manner in which they are used in spite of the physical andemotional trauma that they experience in the course of the arrest.Further, it is noteworthy that the law is perfectly clear about theinnocence of individuals until they are declared guilty in a court oflaw. Unfortunately, the publication of mug shots has a completeopposite effect, where the arrestees would be seen as guilty untilproven innocent (Siegel&Osowiecki, 2008).Given the numerous moral implications involved, the viewing,publication and release of mug shots comes as morally impermissibleand should not be allowed to take place in a society that prides inits justice system as it undermines such systems, degrades the entiresociety and the person appearing in the photos.
Siegel,P., & Osowiecki, K. (2008). Communicationlaw in America.Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.