UMUC Week 3 Law Journal John Peter Zenger Case Study


Part I:

Discuss the merits to the John Peter Zenger case but argue for the prosecution. Make sure to support your points with properly researched and documented reasons and evidence.

Part II: Provide feedback to two clasmates

The following are the responses for Part II:1. John Peter Zenger was accused of Libel for printing a publication that “harshly pointed out the actions of the corrupt royal governor” (Independence Hall Association). The trial ultimately ended with the jury quickly deciding that John Peter Zenger was not guilty. Our reading states that “the Supreme Court has recognized limited categories of speech that the government may regulate because of their content. The Court generally identifies these categories as obscenity, defamation, fraud, incitement, fighting words, true threats, speech integral to criminal conduct, and child pornography” (The First Amendment: Categories of Speech). If I had to argue in favor of the prosecution, I would use this to my advantage and argue that the publication that John Peter Zenger printed is classified as obscenity, defamatory, fraudulent, and intends to incite violence. The way that he harshly pointed out the actions of the royal governor could be considered true threats and lead to the same. I would argue that the points that were made are intended to incite violence and are false. Overall I would try to repeat these arguments to the point that the jury starts to believe them.ReferencesIndependence Hall Association. (n.d.). The trial of John Peter Zenger. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from First Amendment: Categories of Speech – Congress. (n.d.). Retrieved July 2, 2022, from…2. Zenger was accused of LIBEL, a legal term whose meaning is quite different for us today than it was for him (1). His lawyers successfully argued that truth is an absolute defense against libel, and the charges against him were dismissed. To this day, U.S. libel law still recognizes the truth defense. In other words, if I print an article saying that four businesses owned by Donald Trump declared bankruptcy, Trump can’t sue me for libel because what I wrote is true.This is important because if everyone sued for libel because a newspaper article hurt his or her feelings, journalism would grind to a halt and the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press would be worthless.Sources

UMUC Week 3 Law Journal John Peter Zenger Case Study

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UMUC Week 3 Law Journal John Peter Zenger Case Study


  1. Start with a clear thesis statement that states your main argument.
  2. Use evidence and examples to support your thesis statement.
  3. Create an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas.
  4. Use clear and concise language, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complex sentence structures.
  5. Edit and proofread your essay carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  6. Take breaks and come back to your essay with fresh eyes to ensure you haven’t overlooked anything.

By following these tips, you can write a well-structured, well-researched, and compelling essay.

UMUC Week 3 Law Journal John Peter Zenger Case Study