Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Star's policy on naming minors

A story in today’s Anniston Star reports that a 17-year-old Piedmont resident has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of her mother.
The Star’s policy is to withhold the identity of minors involved in crime stories, even if they are suspects.
However, in today’s report, we ran the name and photo of the suspect, even though she’s a minor at age 17.
Here’s why:
Lindsey Danielle Morgan was charged as an adult in her mother’s death.
As Calhoun County District Attorney Joe Hubbard explained, Alabama law allows for any minor 16 or older to be tried as an adult in highly serious cases, such as murder.
The case will be tried in adult court, making public any details that emerge during court proceedings, including her identity.
Had Morgan been charged as a juvenile, all court proceedings would have remained closed to the public, and The Star would not have identified her.