Readers wonder why the Express-News and other media report that a suspect “allegedly” killed 12 people last November at Fort Hood, or why another is a “suspect” in an “alleged terrorist attack” on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day.
Legitimate questions, notes Bob Richter, public editor of the Express-News. To the dozens of witnesses in both incidents, it was clear who was behind both incidents. “So why the $10 legalese when anyone with 2 cents worth of common sense knows what happened and who did it?”
It’s simple: The U.S. Bill of Rights grants newspapers “freedom … of the press” but not the freedom to declare someone guilty of a crime.