This Week in Milford

May 20, 2017

Change my pitch up


The big question on all of our minds today: Can the names of juvenile offenders be published in a newspaper? The big answer: Typically, yes, but it depends.

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that reporters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights outweigh a state’s interests in protections relating to the rehabilitation of juveniles. This means that if a reporter lawfully obtains the names of juveniles involved in crimes, the reporter may publish the names of the juveniles.

In many states, juveniles involved in juvenile proceedings are protected by laws modeled after the Model Juvenile Court Act. If the person in question falls within the definition of a juvenile, court records and law enforcement records involving the juvenile will not be made available to reporters, with some exceptions. If the juvenile is tried as an adult, certain items can be printed and disclosed to the public. Additionally, information collected by newspapers and individuals that includes information released by the courts or the police is not considered criminal history record information and is not treated as protected information. On the other hand, reporters are not allowed access to juvenile court records, or law enforcement records, with narrow exceptions.

Okay, enough of that; I’m not here to turn TWIM into some kind of law journal.  I’m not sure if Rubin’s dark change-up (and we’ve seen a series of them over the past year or so) is a feint to throw us snarkers off the scent, a Batiuk-style ploy to land a Reuben Award, or a veiled cry for help.  Young men hitting young women is certainly nothing to snark about.  Thank goodness we can still snark about close talkers, bizarre perspective, giant earrings, and tiny hotel pens held in giant freak hands.



  1. Van Auken has been presented as an essentially decent kid
    The Girls from Central, not so much

    Putting it all together, the only possible ending is Dafoe & Van Auken, public sex

    It’s only logical, isn’t it?

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — May 20, 2017 @ 4:38 pm

  2. teenchy explains, accurately, that the names of juvenile offenders can often legally be published. But it is also true that most papers have a policy against doing so, and that, as he points out, there are many instances in which publication is impermissible by statute.

    But I kind of doubt that the conflict here will involve whether to publish or not: it’s not really in anyone’s interest to do so unless the three Central Citians set off a serious public controversy, especially since Van Auken’s only offense since arriving has been to throw his glove in frustration. But who knows? This story seems far less predictable than most. If I were going to complain about anything, it would be that Rubin has supplied us with essentially zero backstory on Van Auken.

    Comment by vaganova — May 20, 2017 @ 4:43 pm

  3. I don’t think that’s a hotel pen, it’s an electronic gum massager.

    If someone tells you about somebosy hitting a girl, is your first response “did you see a police report?” How about “when?” “how?” “why?” “where?” or “tell me more?” like real journalism teachers might do (although I do note yesterday this teacher was still struggling to impart the concepts of “subject-verb-object”, which you’d think would have been wholly understood by anyone with any interest in writing long before high school. It might be the ceiling of this teacher’s grammatical knowledge, though.)

    I’m guessing that to get the volunteer position advising the school paper, our bowling ball-earringed woman first had a freelance position with the local shopping insert, where she hopes all remember her triumphant exposé “Corn: Vegetable or Starch?”

    Comment by Moon Mullins — May 20, 2017 @ 6:18 pm

  4. I don’t need to see Rubin toss classic Marty Moon into this story arc, I’m just saying it would definitely work if he did.

    Comment by billytheskink — May 20, 2017 @ 10:03 pm

  5. Actually, I thought “Did you see a police report?” was a reasonable start. I think Ms Rizk is trying to establish two things. One is to confirm that the event really happened and is not simply a nasty rumor, and also to take Daffy to the appropriate starting point. Reporters normally get the public records and study them before they dig on their own. That way they know they are working upward from agreed upon facts (the alleged assault took place at 123 XYZ St, at approximately 6:15 PM. Three persons, Moe, Larry, and Curly, state that they witnessed the event.)

    Comment by vaganova — May 21, 2017 @ 7:43 am

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