High Court Allows Prosecutor’s Award Over Newspaper Letter


The Supreme Court today refused to review a jury verdict against a newspaper that published an inmate’s letter without verifying allegations it contained about a prosecutor, reports the Associated Press. The Buzz newspaper of Martinsville, Va., wanted the court to clarify whether the media must investigate claims made in letters to the editor or risk defamation lawsuits.

A Roanoke, Va., jury awarded prosecutor Joan Ziglar $75,000 for publishing a letter from a federal prison inmate who charged that Ziglar was targeting him in a murder investigation and encouraging false testimony because Tahlib had an affair with Ziglar’s sister. The paper did not check on the charge; Ziglar denied wrongdoing.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/16/AR2007041600518.html

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