Sunday, February 3, 2013

Freedom, gratitude now fill lives of wrongly convicted ex-inmates

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/02/03/freedom-gratitude-now-fill-lives-of-wrongly-convicted-ex-inmates.html

This article by the Columbus Dispatch follows the lives of five wrongly convicted men who were recently found not guilty due to new DNA testing.  The article goes on to talk about the Ohio Innocence Project that worked along side the dispatch to review over 300 cases of possible wrongful imprisonment and chronicles the inmates transition back to society.

I chose this article because of how well put together it is. It gets you straight to the facts and displays them accurately.  I also like how in the end the author gives each person their own mini story and talks about the different aspects of their lives.  The article could have used more pictures of the released inmates or other types of multi media, but other than that I think it was a pretty good article.

19 comments:

  1. I thought this was a great article! It was very interesting and kept me reading. The fact that there are so many wrongly accused people in prison makes my stomach turn. Not only are innocent people serving years in prison for horrible crimes, but that also means the real criminals are still out on the streets and probably getting away with even more crimes. I am glad the Dispatch started this project. I think it has opened people's eyes to the flaws in the justice system before DNA testing. I hope they continue this project along with other organizations across the country. Technology is a wonderful thing!

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  2. I thought this article was very interesting and engaging for the length. Even though it was a long article the details of the wrongfully convicted kept me engaged. It was easy to follow along with and nicely written. DNA testing is an amazing thing that has been brought into the court system. This story and other DNA stories about wrongfully convicted people, is relevant to any reader in the community. I agree with Sam regarding the mini stories at the end. I felt connected to each person by individually hearing their story.

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  3. I found the article to be very interesting and felt that it was written in an engaging manner. It was straight to the chase and offered very detailed information throughout the story. I'm glad these men got the justice they deserved. It surprises me how our legal system is still so flawed even in 2013, and I think that DNA testing needs to be done more often to help other innocent people. This was a good project started by The Dispatch and by doing this project, they will better inform society of what is going on with DNA testing relating to accused criminals.

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  4. I really enjoyed this article and was impressed by the presentation and execution. Even though it was lengthy, I wanted to continue reading. Overall, I think the author did a nice job making it informative and engaging. Individuals need to be aware of how the criminal justice system is working and the events surrounding it. The only nit-pick I have pertains to the DNA process. The author advocated why it should be used more but did not expand the argument on the other side. He touches on it briefly in the article, “Four men also have been proved guilty, seven were denied testing and in 10 cases, the testing was inconclusive.” However, I think he should have fleshed out other factors such as the expense of DNA testing and the ability of testing to prove someone guilty or innocent. These are important elements to understand why the system operates the way it does now.

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  5. The mini stories at the end really helped the reader form a connection with the characters in the article. The article was extremely well done, however I agree that the multimedia aspect of it was lacking.It would have enhanced the ministories at the end if each would have had a picture of the wrongly accused man next to it. Overall though, it was a solid article.

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  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. The subject matter is in equal parts uplifting and depressing: it's wonderful to see those wrongly accused of crimes moving in the right direction, but sad to see this sort of conviction on inconclusive evidence continue. A great read. (And balanced, too; it didn't feel too "preachy" to me, or like an advocacy piece, which is good.)

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  7. I found this article very interesting and hopeful. I had never heard of the innocence project and I'm glad such a projects exists that gives wrongfully accused inmates another chance for freedom. This article was well written, organized, detailed and straight forward. Although the article was longer than what I would normally read, I found that it kept attention and focus without much multimedia. I really enjoy how after explaining the project they went into more details with a few of the freed prisoners on what their life was after leaving jail. I'm glad those who were freed decided further help inmates they thought were wrongly accused in one way or another.

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  8. I completely agree about the mini stories. I think with a story like this it's really engaging to the reader to look into each one of their lives individually. However, I agree in terms of the photo; I think that instead of having a slideshow of all of the men, the reporter should have included each man's individual headshot (maybe even mug shot?) right next to their individual stories. For me, when there is a story with emotional appeal and personal experience, I like to have a face go with that story, and it would be much easier to have it right next to it than to keep scrolling up and down. That being said, I thought the story was very interesting in itself and in the general topic. Who doesn't love a good DNA testing story? Like we talked about in class (regarding what's news and what's not), this story is both important in terms of knowing your criminal justice system and entertaining in a way, too.

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  9. This story was excellent! I think it's very important to reveal flaws within the judicial system. This is a very controversial, but important topic. The fact that there are programs such as the Ohio Innocence Project could be really beneficial to others. I liked the mini stories as well, but wish they had incorporated more multi media aspects. I agree with Kelly that individual head shots would have been a nice touch. Overall, this was a great story.

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  10. This is a great article because it shows that even something such as the criminal justice system that seems so infallible can be wrong. It's refreshing to see something that proves that accuracy in crime reports are growing more accurate with the advances in technology. The article was well-written and wasn't about fluff, which I appreciate. The facts are laid out in a way that is informational and easy to follow.

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  11. I found this article to be very interesting and touching. The piece not only gives you information on The Innocence Project (for people like me who have never heard of it), but also gives the reader a good look into the improvement that has been made by showing cases that have been released and/or further looked into. The article is quite long, which isn't a bad thing at all, as it gives us a personal look into each featured man. However, I think that more pictures or a video component would help engage the reader much more, adding even more of a personalized feel.

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  12. A well written article about a topic that is always up for discussion. Wrongly convicting people has a been a topic of much debate and controversy for years, and this article offers some hope for those unsolved cases. The way the article is written provides basic statistics and information in an easy-to-read way. It's emotional side and the needed unbiased tone were well balanced.

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  13. The article was very interesting and well written. It captured the audience's attention by giving not only factual evidence on DNA testing, but also an emotional side. DNA criminal testing would typically be a bland subject, but by giving a voice to the people affected by the new adjustment to the criminal system, it added another level of credibility and transparency. The article was a bit lengthy but it was told in more of a narrative way, so the length was appropriate.

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  14. I agree with many of my classmates - I liked the article. Particularly, I noticed that the opening places you in a vivid scene, that of the five men entering the elevator. In addition, they had obviously done their homework, citing many facts.

    Since I feel obligated to add some criticism, I might I would like to say that the writer should be careful with the opening - since the article focuses on the broader issue, it would not be good to dwell for too long on the specific cases.

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  15. This story is really interesting to me, because as a senior in high school I took a forensics class, and we spent some time learning about programs like these. For me the article is about something I'm certainly interested in. As for the actual composition of the article, I really enjoy the description that the author of the article uses throughout the story. The opening elevator scene is a perfect example. In addition to that, the author does a great job of using very powerful quotes to tug at the readers' emotions a bit. I also find the ending of the article very cool too, where the author spends a bit of time going through each man's story. That is a really creative idea.

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  16. I enjoy the hook the writer chose to use. It takes on a narrative tone that really drew me in and made me want to read about these men’s stories. I also like how they included details about how they found out these men were innocent, without those details I may have still been skeptical or simply confused. I also appreciate how they show multiple sides to the issue and give appropriate weight to each.

    I agree that the mini stories really added to the story as a whole. They gave a face and a background to these people and allowed others to relate to them and take them out of the shadow of there inmate numbers. I’m very happy to hear this topic is being looked into again and I believe the way the story tells us about the men who were wrongfully convicted will inspire others to look in to these cases further and hopefully more innocent people can be released.

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  17. The title to the article is a really good hook, I think. The newspaper generally saved the lives of these wrongly convicted inmates. This story is just heartwarming, yet it makes you think. It makes me think about if there are these men who were wrongly convicted, what about all the others. This just shows the big hole in the judiciary system. But overall, good and interesting article.

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  18. Fashionably late like the justice given to these men. I thought the article was well written. I really liked the fact that they focused on the justice brought to these men. It is good to hear about good things happening to people from Columbus because that is where I come from. Overall very interesting piece!

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