Tag: David Hammer

7th Circuit Upholds Ban on Death-Row Interviews

The 7th Circuit ruled Thursday that a death row inmate has no right to be interviewed by the media. The majority opinion is here (pdf).

The majority opinion in Hammer v. Ashcroft, written by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, based its decision heavily upon the concept that the news media has "no constitutional right of access to prisons or their inmates beyond that afforded to the general public," citing Pell v. Procunier. However, in Hammer it was not a reporter, but a prisoner, who asserted a right to interview.

BOP instituted the ban in 2000 after Timothy McVeigh gave an interview to 60 Minutes. Hammer has quite an interesting history.

Since all federal death row inmates are housed at Terre Haute which is in the 7th Circuit, this ruling will apply to all of them.

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