While doing some handiwork and idly listening to a reading of a memorandum of law in a case called Khoberger from Idaho, the court repeatedly argues a SCOTUS case only named as "Sheperd" or similar, with unknown spelling as I only had audio. Most of that filing is about the restriction of a lawyer from acting as a spokesperson for their clients that don't appear to be a party of the Khoberger case.

In any way, the facts of that "Sheperd" case are:

  • During the trial, the jurors were named in the press with names and addresses.
  • The accused was found guilty
  • SCOTUS reversed as the case was not impartial.
  • It was supposedly heard before Miranda, so in or before 1966

Which is this mysterious case and is it still as relevant as the memorandum of law I listened to makes it seem from repeating it again and again?

2 Answers 2


This is the famous Sam Sheppard case, (Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966)), where the court determined that the defendant had been deprived of his right to a fair trial consistent with the Due Process Clause owing to massive, widespread, and prejudicial publicity.

See this for more details on that trial. This is quite relevant to Kohberger's future trial, for which a non-dissemination stipulation can be found here.


In all likelihood, the case is Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966).

The holding was that the disruption caused by the media and allowed by the court prevented the accused from receiving a fair trial consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment:

We have concluded that Sheppard did not receive a fair trial consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and, therefore, reverse the judgment.

It appears to still be good law. It was cited by the Arizona Court of Appeals in State v. Arias, 248 Ariz. 546 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2020).

(Since Sheppard was a habeas petition from a state conviction, the Court applied the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but the reasoning was infused with Sixth Amendment considerations, such as the defendant's right to an impartial jury.)

  • O.o... Why they cite the 14th but not the 6th fair and impartial jury is a mystery we might never know...
    – Trish
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 0:36

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