Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Guilty, guilty, guilty: Any day now!

Time to check in on the case of the Lansing Serial Spree Suspect. ("Serial suspect," which he is in today's 1A hed, is a common weird news elision, even though "serial" isn't the kind of suspect he is, and "spree" is just there because we ought to stop using it altogether.)

As you'll recall from the weekend, the cops declared last week that they Have Their Man ("We've arrested a serial killer"). Friday's paper quoted the prosecutor as saying the man in custody would be charged that very day. By Sunday, it was "Macon is expected to be arraigned Tuesday." And Wednesday, reflecting (presumably) developments up to Tuesday's deadline?

Police expect Macon to be arraigned today or Thursday in connection with one or more of the homicides. Charges in the other cases are expected to follow.

Either of which might happen. And, on the evidence so far, either of which might not. Which is why well-edited newspapers don't write about charges until they're filed. Not to be tautological, but until they're filed, they aren't charges. They're prosecutorial hot air.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so agree with you!

I'm assuming that the newspaper feels this is such a big story that it MUST have something in each day's paper.

In which case, the true *news* here is that have NOT YET charged him.

Or, you use some sort of feature angle to provide the obligatory "column inches on the topic."

4:46 PM, September 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today at work they showed us a clip from an old paper where the police chief was charged with murder! It was so cool.

Well, except that he wasn't charged, it was a story saying that indictments were coming 'Wednesday.' But I bet it was awesome if it ever actually happened.

6:41 PM, September 05, 2007  

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