Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wrongful Conviction

Here's an old but timely Columbia Journalism review article on wrongful convictions.

Three Books and Ten Lessons for Journalists
The author offers the pious hope that his ten lessons will "encourage realistic investigations into possibly wrongful convictions, and perhaps help prevent wrongful convictions." But his earnest wish is not match for the customs of the journalistic guild and news outlets thirst for ratings and readership. The Nancy Graces of the world still taint jury pools in sensational cases. Crime reporters still protect useful sources and, consequently, enable bad prosecutions.

It is a shame that no one at the News and Observer read this piece. DA Mike Nifong seems determined to go a perfect 10 out of 10 on the wrongful conviction checklist provided in the article. In the Duke lacrosse case we see a miscarriage of justice played out in real time. Except for a few hardy souls like Stuart Taylor, the MSM has played their assigned role of cheerleader and enabler.

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