A New York inmate owes his freedom in part to a journalist who would not let go, reports Al Tompkins of Poynter.org. For 20 years, Christine Young of the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., has been bothered by a murder case. She never believed that police had the evidence to convict Lebrew Jones in the killing of a young woman who worked as a prostitute. This year, Young’s coverage won an award from John Jay College’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice.
Young, a former award-winning television reporter, doggedly questioned the evidence, the tactics, the witnesses police missed, and the connections to other killings that police failed to link. The newspaper compiled the story and a mountain of evidence into a multimedia presentation, featuring audio and video interviews with key witnesses and the questionable confessions that Jones offered years ago, and even explains through interactive graphics where Jones might have been at the time of the slaying. Last week, 22 years after his conviction, Jones left prison. The parole board released him after one interview, something experts say is unheard of.