Investigating the Investigators

Friday, October 30, 2009


The Medill Journalism School and the Cook County District Attorney in Chicago are locked in a legal battle over a murder investigation conducted by Medill students as part of the Innocence Project. The DA has subpoenaed the students' academic records. Medill Dean John Lavine says the students are journalists, protected under the Illinois Shield Law.

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Comments [6]


Actually, mark and i both missed the part of the report that states that these students HAVE uncovered evidence of guilt and released it several times.

Eleven innocent people released from prison through the pro-bono work of these "depressingly conformist" students, as Mark puts it. Don't it make ya mad?

Jan. 05 2010 01:28 AM
blackbelt_jones from New York USA

does this mean the feel who are wrongfully convicted don't matter

:"The feel"? I think that was supposed to be "the few"!

Nov. 08 2009 12:31 PM
blackbelt_jones from New York USA

To Mark Richard

Does the legal infrastructure make it much easier to guiltily get away with murder than to be innocently convicted of it? Really? Since in most cases, we can't really know who is innocent and who is guilty, I can't imagine how you're going on anything other than an assumption. And it's probably no weirder than any of your other assumptions.

If it really is easier to get off guiltily than to be convicted wrongfully, does this mean the feel who are wrongfully convicted don't matter, and that those who attempt to find and help them deserve your scorn? Are the victims of violent crime and those who are wrongfully convicted, as you seem to imply, two groups with opposing interests? Don't the victims of violent crimes deserve to see the real criminals punished? Aren't the wrongfully convicted, in a very real sense, the victims of those same criminals, who remain unpunished.

If the Innocence Project finds evidence of guilt, as often happens. do they have an obligation to disclose it to someone? I can't imagine why, since it pertains to a defendant who has already been convicted. Unless they're insane, what they do is that they drop the case. They've got a huge back log of heartbreaking cases, and there's just no reason why they're going to work pro bono and risk their reputation trying to prove something that isn't true. It might happen, but it would be pretty bizarre, and it's pretty bizarre for you to be speculating about it.

Nov. 08 2009 12:29 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

If a manufacturer put out a product that killed people, zealous young journalists from elite colleges would be all over that case gathering evidence like Nader's Raiders. But when it comes to actual people who kill people, and the legal infrastructure that makes it much easier to guiltily get away with murder than to be innocently convicted of it, journalism and law students are missing in action. I wonder if Medill students have ever unearthed evidence of guilt, rather than of innocence, and quietly dropped their cases rather than take the evidence public. It would be nice if 'justice' in the eyes of these depressingly conformist campus-based groups included justice for victims, who are also 'innocent'. I don't expect a 'Victim Project' to be formed among J-school students, more's the pity.

Nov. 04 2009 03:50 PM
good grief george from Sisters, OR

Don't bother copying-and-posting that link cleverly embedded above. It's a cheap marketing pyramid and has nothing to do with this story.

If anyone is monitoring this page, it deleting both these comments is in order.

Nov. 03 2009 09:24 PM

You'd think that by the 21st century, people would learn that murder is unacceptable, but things like what you talked about and this ( still happen. It astounds me.


Oct. 30 2009 06:48 PM

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