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Court Rules In Favor Of Harper’s In Dead Soldier Photo Case

harpers_0804.jpgWhen it comes to the First Amendment, don’t f*ck with Lewis Lapham.

An appellate court in Denver has ruled in favor of Harper’s magazine and photojournalist Peter Turnley in the magazine’s publication of a photo of an open casket of deceased U.S. soldier that appeared in the August 2004 issue.

The family of the soldier, Kyle Brinlee, filed suit in April 2005 and lost. A federal judge in Muskogee, Oklahoma ruled in favor of Harper’s citing First Amendment protections. That ruling was appealed. Last week, the Denver court affirmed the judgment of the district court, finding that the funeral was newsworthy and a matter of public interest, and that the photograph published accurately reflected the image of Sgt. Brinlee’s funeral and open casket.

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