Doug complimenting local TV news coverage! Will wonders never cease?
OK, OK, I agree that I do my share of complaining. That’s what "old-timer" reporters do when they listen to the radio, read the newspaper and watch the boob-tube. Marcia will tell you that on some days, such coverage or lack thereof can result in a loss for me---loss of temper, loss of appetite, etc.
But fair is fair, and two local TV journalists this week did outstanding work!
On Channel 8, WOOD TV’s Ken Kolker created a great piece entitled “Miscarriage of Justice:” State fights wrongful conviction payments. It’s a shameful account of how state legislators passed a law that would enable persons who had been wrongly convicted to receive a payment of $50,000 per year for every year that they had spent behind bars. It was the honorable thing to do. But the dishonorable result, Ken points out in his insightful piece, is that the Michigan Attorney General, William Schuette, seems hell-bent to prevent these poor people from ever collecting what’s due them. Wrong, immoral, unconscionable, from so many perspectives!
On Fox 17, Dana Chicklas did her homework, and put together a fine piece entitled Backlog of rehabilitation programs keepssome prisoners in past their early release dates. It’s a serious problem which our office deals with regularly. Simply put, the Parole Board demands completion of certain programs by prisoners before they are released into society. But the programs aren’t always available in the right facility or at the right time. And so you get prisoners who should be free, and who deserve to be free, having their release dates delayed by the Parole Board because they didn’t take all the necessary programs. There are more than 250 inmates, she reports, who are past their earliest release dates, but who are still locked up. If you think that doesn’t affect you and me, consider that it costs $36,000 of state money to care for one prisoner for one year. Multiply that times 250 to see how your tax dollars are being spent.
I’m writing this to encourage two things: viewing and response.
Go to the TV web sites, watch the reports, but don’t stop there. Contact your state legislators, the people elected to serve you in the Michigan House and Senate. Voice your disapproval promptly and forcefully.
And finally, give serious thought to your choice for the next Governor of Michigan.
A tip of the HFP hat to Ken Kolker and Dana Chicklas! Well done!