Emmy award-winning American television journalist Steven Roye was sentenced in mid-October by a court in Thailand to life in prison for attempting to smuggle heroin out of that country, according to the Associated Press.
Officials in Thailand arrested Roye in October 1994 as he tried to board a flight from Bangkok to Amsterdam while carrying a suitcase containing 6.6 pounds of heroin. Roye originally pleaded innocent to the charges, stating he was working on a series of articles about drug-trafficking. He said traffickers threatened harm to his family if he did not carry the drugs.
Reportedly at the suggestion of Roye’s lawyers, he changed his plea to guilty in August so he could receive a lesser sentence. At the sentencing, the judge said that he reduced the penalty from execution to life in prison because of the plea change.
The U.S. Supreme Court in mid-October declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta (11th Cir.) that allowed the city of Coral Gables, Fla. to restrict the colors that can be used in newsstands on public sidewalks.
Exito, a Spanish-language newspaper, violated a city ordinance limiting the colors of newsracks to beige and tan by distributing the paper in deep-purple newsracks in 1991. (Gold Coast Publications v. Coral Gables)
Officials at the Denver, Colo. federal building in late August changed a post-Oklahoma City bombing policy that required journalists entering the building to divulge exactly where they were going and who they were going to interview.
After the change, journalists are still required to identify themselves when they enter the building, but do not have to list the names of their contacts.
In late August, Steve Paulson, an Associated Press journalist, refused to provide a list of the people he intended to visit. A security guard denied him access to the building and Paulson complained to the building administrator, prompting the change.