Death Row Challenges Hurt by Newsroom Cuts

Lawyers fear shortage of media resources may result in innocent people being executed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 5:30 AM CDT
Death Row Challenges Hurt by Newsroom Cuts
The gurney used to restrain condemned prisoners during the lethal injection process lies empty in the Texas death house in Huntsville, Texas.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

The huge cuts in newsroom staff around the country may have inadvertently condemned some innocent prisoners to death, the New York Times reports. Lawyers complain that many of the investigative journalists who would have once hotly pursued a story about a wrongly accused Death Row inmate aren't working any more. Overworked reporters who remain are less inclined to take stories that require plenty of legwork.

Stories that were being written three years ago that supplemented the legal work undertaken by innocence projects are just not appearing, said the director of Florida's Innocence Project. The cuts have also hit anti-death penalty campaigns seeking to exonerate prisoners who have already been executed.
(More Innocence Project stories.)

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