Capital Cases: Rethinking Change of Venue in High-Profile Capital Cases

Staying Put by Using Pretrial Publicity and Morgan v. Illinois to Remove Pro-Death Jurors

In high-profile capital cases, it is standard procedure for the defense to file a Motion to Change Venue as a result of extensive negative pretrial publicity. The assumption underlying a venue-change request is that a jury pool repeatedly exposed to negative facts about the case, or the defendant, will be unable to render a fair and impartial verdict and follow the presumption of innocence, thus being more conviction-prone and more likely to recommend the death penalty.