DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Who Killed Theresa?: NPR & A Call To Crime Victims

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NPR & A Call To Crime Victims

Tomorrow marks the end ofNational Public Radio's The State of Things week long program dedicated to the criminal justice system.  Dubbed "Law and Order Week", the lunch-time, hour long program has profiled elements of criminal justice including:

- The lack of social services to support offenders (Monday)

- Racial profiling (Monday)

- Legal reform (Tuesday)

- The role "legal fiction" plays in all of this (Tuesday)

- The war on drugs (Wednesday)

- Rehabilitation and re-entry of offenders (Thursday)

- Prisoners rights (Friday)

5 one-hour programs. 3 featuring offenders. Not 1 profiling the cog that drives the wheel of justice; crime victims. As I reported yesterday, when I contacted the show's host, Frank Stasio he was defensive, explaining that "we are all victims of crime". Later -apparently after reading my website - he backed down, playing the roll of armchair psychologist: "I'm terribly sorry about your sister...It must be very painful for you". 

Sympathies appreciated, but it misses the point. 

I responded by requesting that if he wanted to make up for the omission he could do an hour-long program on the families of victims in Rocky Mount, NC.  5 murdered women - Joarniece Latonya Hargrove, Jackie Nikelia Thorpe,  Ernestine Battle, Melody LaShae Wiggins,  and Taraha Shenice Nicholson - have turned up in the same geographic area, 3 others are missing; and it's all being ignored because the victims are black, and alleged prostitutes / drug addicts. I don't have to remind anyone in Vancouver how badly this smells.

I am still awaiting Frank Stasio's response.

I want to be clear about something. It is not my aim to vilify NPR, the program The State of Things, or its host, Frank Stasio. I love the program. It is insightful and comprehensive. Its host is always knowledgeable of the subjects. I've even had the opportunity to spend an evening with Frank at a Durham Bulls baseball game; we enjoyed beers and polite conversation about Durham and NPR.

That's what makes all of this so disappointing. These are quality people and a quality program, but they have clearly missed the mark on this one.

The marginalization of crime victims is something we have fought against for decades. If you have an opinion please contact The State of Things tomorrow at noon EST:  1.877.962.9862 or by emailing


At 10:08 PM, Blogger Bill Widman said...

YOW! It really burns my butt whenever I see the offenders getting more support than the victims.

Not that I would blame inmates for wanting to make better lives for themselves, or anyone else for that matter, but that I would rather see more resources spent on aiding the victims and their families.

They cut killers way too much slack, and that just plain sucks.

Hey, I'll help spread the word. You can count on it!

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who has followed your blog for a long time knows of your struggles to have an accountable system in place. You do not need to justify yourself , in my opinion.

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this John.


At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, offenders need to be rehabilitated, that is the only way to solve the criminal justice equation, but to do so at the exclusion of the victims is an insult that is unbearable. Shame on NPR!



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