QUESTION – ANSWERS 4
Aperson, who has a conviction record for a crime that was previouslydismissed or which he was found not guilty, is very much interestedin clearing his name from the record. There are two ways used by thecourt to remove a person`s criminal record. They include expungingand sealing criminal files (Baker, 2012). The records of convictedpeople can be can be accessed by everyone. They restrict the servicesthat one can choose based on the past criminal records. Sealing therecords helps in making sure that the public does not get access to aperson`s records without a court order. The Washington Supreme Courtoutlines the standards for sealing a file. The judge must find acompelling circumstance and explain the need for secrecy (Baker,2012). In addition, he must weigh the arguments for privacy againstthe public`s interest.
Inmy opinion, the standards for sealing outlined by the WashingtonSupreme Court are sufficient. The court demonstrated that good causewas shown when it sealed a file involving a priest who had molested achild. It means that the tribunal had sufficient evidence on theruling legally. Compelling circumstance includes situations where oneis unable to respond to a certain event even if it were an ordinarycase (Baker, 2012). For example, a person can kill someone else ifthere are compelling circumstances. In a court of law, the accusedcan prove that the defendant wanted to shoot his child, and the onlydefensive was to shoot him. The information can be sealed if thecourt finds that good cause was demonstrated. This makes thestandards for sealing satisfactory.
Defamationrefers to an all-encompassing word that covers any statement thatcould hurt a person`s reputation. Defamatory statement is not acrime, and no one can be jailed for making such statements (Baker,2012). Defamation is considered a civil wrong and the person who hassuffered defamation can sue under the libel law. People have thefreedom of speech. It means that they are free to speak openly anddisclose the truth for the betterment of the society. However, alawsuit against defamation statements can be won if certain elementsare demonstrated. It must be proven that someone made a false,defamatory statement that was published and cause injury to the otherparty (Baker, 2012).
Ablog is the internet journal that is regularly updated and isintended for public use. Blogs such as the article discussing an 11.3million dollar judgment in an internet defamation lawsuit should betreated the same as a mainstream media. It is easier to make adefamatory statement due to rise in mainstream media. It is becausethey allow one to publish disparaging blog post and declarations thatare viewed by thousands of people across the globe (Baker,2012).It means that one can be sued for any defamation made by use ofblogs.
Itis not easy to win defamation lawsuits because the plaintiff needs toprove the elements of his case. Truth is a complete defense to libel.Majority of the judicial systems states that although truth is adefense, it is sometimes tricky (Baker, 2012). One scenario, wherethe concept of truth as a defense can be a little tricky, is when aprinting company fired Mary N. Georgina for misusing the businessresources. The company made a defamatory statement when Georgina leftand circulated it to the entire organization letting them know whythey fired her. She sued for damages even though the investigationshowed that she did not adhere to the company policies. Although thecompany pointed out that the allegations were true, it will be acostly process for them. Despitethe truth being a defense for defamation, the plaintiff must proveactual malice by the defendant in circulating the statement (Baker,2012).
Baker,R. (2012). DefamationLaw and Social Attitudes: Ordinary Unreasonable People. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub.