The Lingering Stench of Tulia

Something I find really interesting is the way society and the media conspire to maintain the life-cycle of big exposés. A story breaks, with all its shocking revelations; reporters swoop in, stories get filed, and then what? Maybe some things actually change: laws are passed, powerful people resign their positions, the guilty are punished, the innocent exonerated. Or maybe not. Maybe nothing much at all changes. The cameras and TV lights are boxed up and shipped off somewhere else, the big papers stop covering the story, and the people left behind do their best to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. Or sit in their jail cells counting the months to their hoped-for parole. Anyway, a nice object lesson in all this is a recent story from Nate Blakeslee of the Texas Observer, covering the aftermath of the bogus drug convictions in Tulia, Texas: Can You Hear Me Now?

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