For the second time in two months, Judge William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr. was invited to speak as a panelist on the MSNBC weekend talk show, “Melissa Harris-Perry”. The June 9, 2013 show covered a wide range of recent issues involving pictures, power and privacy-and our aim to balance public security with individual constitutional protections.
Panelists weighed in on the legal debate to release the shocking images following the Newtown tragedy, which gun safety proponents argue would serve to encourage gun control legislation. Parents of the children affected have fought to stop the release of the photographs.
“We can’t predict how impactful these photographs will be in a political or non-political consequence. But legislation prohibiting them seeks to do just that,” said Judge Murphy, arguing in favor of their release. “All of us have had photographs impact us so dramatically that they’ve almost changed our politics, or in some cases have changed our politics.”
The power of multimedia was also questioned as the discussion moved to the 1991 clip of Rodney King being brutally beaten by police which, while effective at rallying the community, served as insufficient evidence for conviction in court.
In what is arguably the month’s biggest news story, the NSA data scandal-in which the phone records of millions of U.S. Verizon customers were collected by the National Security Administration-brought each panelist into the conversation.
It’s a topic Judge Murphy knows all too well, considering the firm’s ongoing lawsuits against Facebook and Google for tracking users without their permission. “The dangers are obvious. No one should know that much about you,” he said.
Joined later in the show by Dr. Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University, the conversation moved back to the War on Drugs (a topic which Judge Murphy spoke about on “Melissa Harris-Perry” in May) covering the 1990’s crack baby scare, a recent ACLU report on our National Drug Policy, and the potential for drug decriminalization.
Watch Judge Murphy’s full appearance on the show below.