Making of a Murderer’ inspires a bitterly contested decision
Steve Drizzen wrote in response to this article:
James Warren calls Brendan Dassey’s conviction a “criminal outrage.” I am glad to see that the Seventh Circuit decision compelled Jim to put pen to paper — he usually doesn’t weigh in on federal court criminal law decisions. But his wife, Cornelia Grumman, won a Pultizer prize at the Chicago Tribune, in part, for her editorials about the unique vulnerability of children to police pressure and the problem of false and coerced interrogations of juveniles. I disagree with Jim in one respect — I think Cornelia’s work demonstrated that there are no limits to what journalists can accomplish. Cornelia’s relentless work on the editorial pages of the Tribune (along with great investigative reporting by Steve Mills, Maurice Possley, and Ken Armstrong) not only helped lead to the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois but also led Illinois to become the first state to enact laws requiring police to record interrogations (of adults and juveniles) and to require that children be represented by counsel during police interrogations. Hopefully, Jim’s piece will just be the first of many from commentators, both usual suspects and unusual suspects from all walks of life, in the days to come. There may be some new limits to journalism, and the editorial pages of newspapers don’t quite hold the sway they once did in this age of social media, but what we need now is a consistent drumbeat of commentators from all walks of life, calling for greater protections of children during interrogations — in schools and in the stationhouse — and in the courts. If watching Brendan’s interrogation made your “skin crawl”, if you believe that a profound “miscarriage of justice may have occurred” in Brendan’s case, follow Jim’s lead. Be part of that drumbeat.