Julie Amero News: March 26th

by Karoli on March 26, 2007 · 56 comments

Journalist Rick Green wrote an excellent feature article for the Hartford Courant yesterday. He walks the reader through events outlined in court testimony in narrative form in a fair and balanced way. The most interesting and newsy part is at the end, where he writes:

But Kane, Smith and others connected to the case have been deluged – and widely ridiculed – by computer security experts who say critical evidence was not considered and officials are now searching for ways to avoid Thursday’s sentencing. The state’s attorney’s office in Norwich is reconsidering its aggressive prosecution of Amero, sources close to the case say.

Smith, whose persuasive arguments convinced the jury of Amero’s guilt, would say only that before next Thursday, things “could very well change.”

To Kane, Smith and others: There is a way to avoid Thursday’s sentencing. Simply go into court and tell the judge that you were wrong. Tell the judge that you’ve received new information that proves Amero innocent and request that the verdict be vacated. Do the right thing.

Meanwhile, Nancy Willard has updated her report (PDF) on the Amero case to reflect the court transcripts and testimony published by the Norwich Bulletin.

Finally, commenter lilaw is calling for anyone who can to show up at the courthouse on March 29th in support of Julie Amero.

Most of mainstream America gets its information from television and the print media. And that media publicizes the news that sells commercial airtime or print advertisements. Let’s provide them with something to publicize. At least, let’s let Norwich know that we are watching. (I think that peaceful protest and freedom of assembly and association are still permitted there.) Let’s let Julie know that we support her. I do not live in Connecticut. It will take me at least three hours to get there, but I will be in Norwich on Julie’s sentencing date, now scheduled for March 29, 2007. Please get up from your computer and join me. You computer geeks (a term I use with respect) who are far more blog-savvy than I, please get the word out. While I would like to be in the courtroom to observe the proceedings on March 29th, nothing would please me more than to find that the place is so crowded with Julie’s supporters that I can’t get in. By the way, I am not some left-wing radical. I am now a moderate, middle-aged part of mainstream America. I am outraged. I am also an attorney. I am alarmed. And ashamed.

I wish I could be there with you, lilaw. It’s just on the wrong coast for me to make it. But I’m there in spirit and with full-tilt blogging mode turned on. If any of you are on the east coast and can join lilaw to stand for what’s right (assuming that there isn’t some sort of resolution that brings this to an end to Julie’s benefit), please do.

Here’s an aside to Stowe Boyd: The links in this post prove that local newspapers are NOT dead, cannot die, and should not be allowed to die. Mathew Ingram said it best: The news is not dying. I do, however, agree with Robert Scoble about America’s fixation with celebrity non-news, which should be permitted to die a graceless and rapid death.

On the other hand, having Rumsfeld as a guest editor for the LA Times would have been a travesty. Glad to see that one nipped in the bud before it blossomed.

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steven Hodson March 26, 2007 at 10:18 am

Karoli;

This case is also an example of a local paper that got it horribly wrong and is complicite in having her convicted even before her trial.

The Norwich paper to this day; from what I have read via the Sunbelt Blog (http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/index.html) of whom Alex has been a prime mover for her defense, has continued in the witchhunt.

This is were the bloggers; specifically the sercurity bloggers have made the difference and is a big black mark again MSM journalism – big or small.

2 karoli March 26, 2007 at 11:08 am

Steven,

No argument about the Norwich Bulletin’s complicity. On the other hand, they DID publish trial transcripts (no national publication would have), and the Hartford Courant did step up pretty powerfully with a counterpoint.

Yes, the bloggers made the difference, but would we have even known about it without the reporting — even the outrageous reporting — of the local newspaper?

3 Steven Hodson March 26, 2007 at 2:48 pm

true enough on both points :)

4 Brandon Abell March 26, 2007 at 6:14 pm

It’s time for the whole lot of these witch hunters to be Nifonged. The prosecuting attorney needs to be brought before the state bar for malicious prosecution. The judge and jury should be subject to public ridicule. The school district’s employees who were negligent in this case, then assisted the prosecution to cover their own asses should be fired and prosecuted themselves if possible.

Accepting what has happened here as “the way things work” should absolutely not happen. The system is wonderful, it’s the little greasy parts in the system that are malfunctioning.

5 Mike Conwell March 28, 2007 at 9:20 am

I’m not happy at all about the content contained in Norwich Bulletin’s coverage of the Julie Amero story, but it’s their story, dated Jan 6, 2007 that not only let me know about the case, but woke me up and energized me to do something about it. Specifically:

[quote]
But Smith countered Horner’s testimony with that of Norwich Police Detective Mark Lounsbury, a computer crimes investigator. On a projected
image of the list of Web sites visited while Amero was working, Lounsbury pointed out several highlighted links.

“You have to physically click on it to get to those sites,” Smith said. “I think the evidence is overwhelming that she did intend to access those Web sites.”[/quote]

Had these two sentences not appeared in the story, I would have moved on to the next security alert, and not given Julie Amero a second thought.

NB’s effort to get quotes from parties in the trial, and relay them to the world, is what we’re losing in our consolidation of the media. You have only to look at the Fox TV coverage of the case to see where the journalism(?) is headed. A commentary by three heavily made up barbie dolls playing point/counterpoint with little or no research done into the story. One puts on the prosecutor’s hat, the other a defense hat.

Anyway, since then I’ve called the NB a rag, and have raged against them in blogs, but ultimately, they’re doing their jobs. Even if it’s poorly.

Take care y’all

Mike

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