Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Other shoes dropping

This morning's news is filled with the sound of other shoes dropping:

Abuse and neglect at Texas state schools
Serious allegations of abuse and neglect at Texas' state schools for the mentally retarded arose earlier this year at the Lubbock state school (see a report from the USDOJ), but according to Emily Ramshaw and Amy Rosen ("Abuse, neglect plague state schools," July 24) the problem extends throughout the system. More from Vince and Kuff.

First come ratings, then the lawsuits
The sister of a prosecutor in Terrell is suing Dateline NBC for $105 million over its "To Catch a Predator Series" after her brother committed suicide last year when police and TV cameras came to his door accusing him of pedophilia. The suit accuses Dateline of taking over police duties and then failing to protect her brother. The District Attorney in Rockwall County has refused to prosecute cases based on Dateline's accusations. See a good article exploring the issue from the perspective of journalism ethics from the Columbia Journalism Review.

DNA cases just tip of innocence iceberg
Cases of innocent prisoners exonerated by DNA testing tells just a small part of the story, writes Adam Liptak in the New York Times citing a new study that "strongly suggests, then, that there are thousands of people serving long sentences for crimes they did not commit but who have no hope that DNA can clear them." Scott Greenfield has harped on this theme for a while, and I touched on it recently, declaring "There's a risk to ONLY letting "slam dunk" cases involving DNA justify an innocence claim - most cases, after all, have no DNA evidence from offenders to match, even in many violent crimes." Via Doc Berman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you think that abuse of youthful offenders is outrageous, considered who is placed in the State Schools...a truly vulnerable population. This is akin to what we often discover happens to gramma in a nursing home when no one comes to visit. Hey, perhaps some of the problem is that there are no external supports for people in this facilities, ya think?