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N-G casually reveals name of juvenile defendant

Well, at least it wasn’t in the headline, I guess. After a month of coverage of the Kiwane Carrington case in which the News-Gazette respected the anonymity of a juvenile defendant, he was suddenly identified yesterday in an online report, and today in print.

I suppose this could be justified by saying that press were allowed in the hearing yesterday, so technically the youth’s name didn’t have to be leaked, but it seems unnecessary and outside of good journalistic practice. And it was also especially jarring that the name appeared with no explanation of why it was being revealed now.

It follows the pattern of other information disclosed to the public in this case (attendance records, etc.) which one-sidedly favor the police. It was also difficult to tell from the article which statements were given as part of the hearing, and which resulted from conversations before and afterward, further clouding the situation.

Brian Dolinar of the UCIMC was at the hearing as well — as the other member of the press — and filed a much different report.

And this follows on the heels of the report yesterday that the Champaign County State’s Attorney, Julia Rietz, has received the results of the investigation from the Illinois State Police, but hasn’t placed a timetable on when that report will be released to the public. The report contains “hundreds of pages and numerous computer disks” according to Ms. Reitz. Computer disks?

Emails to Ms. Schenk and Ms. Rietz requesting comment about revealing the juvenile’s name were not immediately returned.

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