Richard Jewell, Journal-Constitution Fight Finally at an End

July 19, 2011

Next week marks the 15th anniversary of the bomb explosion at Centennial Olympic Park, and lawyers for Richard Jewell, who died four years ago, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are still fighting. A Georgia Court of Appeals ruling last week, which affirmed the dismissal of the libel case against the newspaper, could finally put the matter to rest, writes Alyson Palmer.

Atlanta lawyer L. Lin Wood Jr., who represents Jewell’s estate, has said he will appeal last week’s adverse decision by the state Court of Appeals. The Georgia Supreme Court, or even the U.S. Supreme Court, could decide to weigh in.

But if they don’t – and the U.S. high court’s involvement seems a long shot – last week’s Court of Appeals ruling, which affirmed the dismissal of the case against the newspaper, could be the last word.
Wood says his efforts have not been for nothing. “I do believe the Richard Jewell case made a difference. I do believe that responsible members of the media are more cautious now.” He adds, though: “I don’t think it’s deterred Nancy Grace much.” || In 2002, Jay Rosen said that his choice of Richard Jewell to sit on a Columbia University task force was “a symbolic, not a practical, one.” Also in 2002, Poynter ethicists reflected on the ethical implications of the Jewell case.