"Why would the Herald believe that its readers have any sympathy for the “moral dilemma” posed by the death penalty, repeated ad nauseum and in detail by a handful of pathetic doctors and lawmakers who appear to be more sympathetic towards the murderer than to the victim or family?"
Because (in my opinion) journalists (and liberals in general) are more interested in fairness and equality as opposed to to justice. The usual counter-argument to that is that no matter what, the girl will not be brought back or restored in any way.
True... it won't help her a bit. But we the living might feel a little better. And maybe, if the criminal's death is ugly enough, some other criminal might think the consequences of being caught are not worth the rewards of the crime.
As the editor, I feel compelled to respond to this.
First, the story was not solely about the Oklahoma murderer. It was about the debate doctors are having about whether they should participate in capital punishment. Since I have been editor, for the past two years, the only stories we have run about the death penalty other than this one have concerned Georgia. This one is of interest because of the debate it is renewing across the country about cruel and unusual punishment, doctors' roles in capital punishment, and ultimately, the state's role.
In no way is the story apologetic or sympathetic toward the Oklahoma murderer or any other death-row inmates. Similarly, the story was not chosen to advocate for or against the death penalty.
As for the amount of space, it wasn't even the longest story we ran Sunday. That was reserved for a story very important to readers anywhere in Georgia, the financial snapshots of the leading U.S. Senate candidates, as analyzed by The Associated Press. Also, the MERS story took up more space than the death penalty report.
Finally, I caution anyone who uses "journalists" as a synonym for "liberals." I am not liberal, and in our newsroom, a variety of viewpoints, from strongly conservative to strongly liberal, are represented.
Just as a point of clarity: There was a second article on page 7. It was about lawmakers continuing to support the death penalty in different states. There was a reference to it from the front-page article. Whether you count an article on page 7 as "major," I'm not sure, but again, this was about the debate over the death penalty in light of the botched execution last week in Oklahoma, not taking a pro- or anti-death penalty stance and certainly not focusing only on the Oklahoma case. That is merely what we in the news business call the "hook" for the issue.
I agree Charlie, the attitude of such people, one which values the artificial quality of political correctness more so than the natural human desire to see justice done, however late in the day, triggers frustrations that can lead to genuine anger.
jwermers, I am pleased that, as editor, you felt a compulsion to respond to the blog. In return I, as a subscriber, will try to address some of your comments.
“First, the story was not solely about the Oklahoma murderer.”
I disagree; the story was solely about using sympathy for the poor criminal to further a political end. Full use is being taken of the opportunity to blast death penalty proponents by the resurrection of so many tired old political standpoints, as ever adorned with the pomposities of ethics, moral responsibilities and such, but ONLY applied to saving the murderer from the death penalty. Neither sympathy nor outrage was wasted on the victim. Which was the point of the blog.
“I caution anyone who uses "journalists" as a synonym for "liberals."
To support your caution you might want to mention that the political tone of these articles was not introduced by your pressroom staff, but in doing so you would have to accept that the opinion of the Herald is subservient to that dedicated messenger of the left, the Associated Press.
“I am not liberal, and in our newsroom, a variety of viewpoints, from strongly conservative to strongly liberal, are represented”.
The laudable diversity of your newsroom does not, unfortunately, filter through to the newspaper. For example the political cartoon on the editorial page always derides the GOP. Maybe the strongly conservative person is not allowed to get too close to the editorial page?
I found your comments relating to “major” articles a bit confusing, but after thinking about it, and when considering that we are, after all, talking about the Statesboro Herald, I think that a major article is anything that is not in Soundoff or written by Holli Deal Bragg.
(Just kidding, Watchdog, just kidding!!)