Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sorry and Goodbye to Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell, the man who discovered and warned people away from a suspicious bag at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, has died at the age of 44. Jewell's life was turned upside-down when he was falsely accused of having planted the bag that exploded, killing one person.

The Washington Post reports:

"In 1997, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno expressed regret over the leak regarding Jewell. "I'm very sorry it happened," she told reporters. "I think we owe him an apology."

"Eventually, the bomber turned out to be anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph, who also planted three other bombs in the Atlanta area and in Birmingham, Ala. Those explosives killed a police officer, maimed a nurse and injured several other people.

"Rudolph was captured after spending five years hiding out in the mountains of western North Carolina. He pleaded guilty to all four bombings in 2005 and is serving life in prison.

"Jewell sued several media organizations, including NBC, CNN and the New York Post, and settled for undisclosed amounts. According to Wood, Jewell also settled a lawsuit against Piedmont College, a former employer. That amount was also confidential.

"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution never settled a lawsuit Jewell filed against it. Lin Wood, Jewell's longtime attorney, said Wednesday that the case is set for trial in January.

""I expect to pursue it for Richard and his estate," Wood said. "But that is a decision for a less sad day.""

[Shame on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their behavior makes one doubt their committment to journalistic ethics. Why didn't they demonstrate remorse for their actions by compensating the man they had harmed?]

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