On July of 1992, the state of Utah in the name of its citizens put to death a man who had survived 17 years on death row.
Utah had the dubious distinction of being the first in more than 100 years to carry out this senseless deed against a man who by his own hand killed no one.And because of media's need to sensationalize this case, they chose to characterize this man as an "animal" or "The Ogden Hi Fi Killer." The media single-handedly molded and twisted public opinion 17 years after, negating any possibility for a commutation to life without possibility of parole.
This is one of many examples where erroneous, irresponsible and overzealous journalism created a trial by media.
Conversely in 1994, we are witnessing media repeating itself in the O.J. Simpson tragedy, reporting rumor as fact, dramatically changing photos on news covers, thereby tarnishing potential jurors' minds, leaving little room for a fair and impartial trial.
The William Andrews for Equal Justice Committee