Judge Not

    I don’t know what happened to Casey Anthony’s baby, but I’ve covered enough trials to know that if you’re opining on someone’s guilt or innocence and you haven’t sat through all the testimony and arguments, you probably don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Even the best reports from trials emphasize the day’s most dramatic moments and can’t begin to capture the nuances of evidence and testimony a jury has to slog through.

    That’s why I like this piece by Sandy Hingston on the PhillyMag blog.

    And there’s valuable insight in this piece from the investigative non-profit Pro Publica, which has done a lot of work on the challenges of and mistakes made in handling forensic evidence in child deaths.

    And here in Philadelphia, there’s the unfolding story of the shooting at the Mander recreation center in North Philadelphia June 26th. Nyeme Taylor was killed. His daughter was shot in the leg, and a six year-old girl and ten year-old girl were shot in the face.

    I encourage you to listen to WHYY’s Mara Zepeda touching interview with Deborah Alexander, the mother of the 18 year-old arrested and charged in the shootings. She’s convinced her son, who has no criminal record, couldn’t have done it. The police say they’ve got their man.

    There are plenty of cases where moms are sure and wrong, and plenty where the cops are sure and wrong. Let’s hope they get this one right.

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