A lot of us may remember Casey Anthony, OJ Simpson, George Zimmerman, and the the recent cases about police misconduct. In each of these cases, the individuals were found not guilty by a jury of their peers or a grand jury. In the American System, we have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty; hence, each of these individuals are more than not guilty, they are innocent in the eyes of the law.
Love it or hate it, we rely on our court system to sort out the facts and make determinations in matters of justice. In each of these cases, the system did not find sufficient evidence to remove the defendant's "innocent" classifications. However, the fact that their names, the allegations, and the trial itself were extensively publicized led to severe post-trial economic, psychological, and (sometime) medical damages to these defendants, due to the "court of public opinion." I have always been particularly appalled by how Un-American and unethical it is to release any details about an ongoing investigation or trial, given that those involved are innocent at that point. Basically, publicizing this information amounts to an egregious form of libel, but the defendant has no recourse.
My question is:
Given that defendants are innocent until a verdict has been issued, how can it be ethical to allow the general public access to, or any knowledge of, the case, given the resulting humiliation, defamation, and possibly harassment of defendants that will likely occur? Regardless of the verdict, public trials met substantial damage to a defendant in many ways. I would like to know what arguments/justifications make this practice ethical? (Obviously, I know its legal).