A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

February 9th, 2004 • Quill Archives
Cross Examination

Some journalistic epiphanies take a long time to form. In my case, 30 years. That is how long it took me to realize somebody needed to conduct a systematic examination of the nation’s 2,341 local prosecutors’ offices. During an era when journalists tend to be skeptical about the performance of elected and appointed government officials at all levels, prosecutors qualify as the last sacred cow: assumed to be acting in the public interest, rarely scrutinized and, if covered at all, covered favorably.