Today we write in defense of journalism. That’s no surprise coming from a newspaper, but the topic is not journalism as an information provider or as a public forum. This is about a case where journalism made the difference between prison and freedom.
The case involves David J. Munchinski, who spent 25 years in prison for the 1977 killing of two Fayette County men on the basis of what an appellate court panel this week said was “a badly tainted and highly suspect conviction.”
To Whom It May Concern:
After eleven years of award-winning journalism, the Innocence Institute of Point Park University is closing its doors.
We have arrived at this heartbreaking outcome despite huge successes over the years in which it has not only enabled young men and women as investigative reporters in the criminal justice field, but changed the lives of many people whose convictions were overturned through its journalistic efforts.
While this program has been successful in teaching and journalistic social justice, the fact that it has failed to garner financial support and sufficient number of student journalists to research cases of claimed wrongful conviction has lead to the the only reasonable outcome – cessation of operations.
In the future, I hope to use my skills as an investigative reporter on criminal justice issues to continue to make an impact in the classroom and the world through my own writing as a professor at Point Park University.
We will spend the next year returning all documents submitted to us. If you would like records sent to anyone outside the Department of Corrections, please alert us of a new address as soon as possible.
You may also submit your materials to the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, attn: Marissa Bluestine, 1719 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122.