What some people won’t do for an “A”

Journalism students, like all college students, are under as much pressure as anyone else to establish themselves before graduation. Sometimes writing for the school paper just isn’t sexy enough.

Northwestern has a long history (like a few other schools, I’m sure) of engaging students in investigations of old criminal cases … nothing like a newbie journalist putting “investigation freed man from death row” on the old resume.

Unless, of course, the man you freed might not have deserved it:

from: http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/02/hearing-in-nu-journalism-students-case-moved-to-monday.html

A court hearing for Northwestern University journalism students whose grades were subpoenaed in connection an investigation of a decades-old murder case has been rescheduled for Monday.

Cook County Circuit Judge Diane Cannon changed the hearing to Monday morning from March 10.

Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Saly Daley said Cannon instructed attorneys to be in court Monday, but gave no reason.

The state’s attorney’s office subpoenaed professor David Protess seeking his syllabus, grades and e-mails. That was after his classes said they had uncovered evidence that Anthony McKinney was wrongfully convicted for a 1978 murder.

Prosecutors claim students may have been under pressure to prove McKinney’s innocence for good grades.

Protess and the students deny that.

That is an interesting assertion by the prosecution … I wonder how this will turn out?


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