Update: Boston Herald libel award upheld

by Walter Olson on May 11, 2007

“Massachusetts’ highest court on Monday upheld a $2 million verdict against the Boston Herald won by a state Superior Court judge who said the newspaper libelously depicted him as soft on crime and insensitive to the suffering of a 14-year-old rape victim.” Better be careful what you say about Judge Ernest Murphy in future. (AP coverage; Romenesko first, second posts; Dan Kennedy, Media Nation; Childs). Earlier coverage: Dec. 8 and Dec. 23, 2005.

{ 1 comment }

1 William Nuesslein 05.11.07 at 8:29 am

One is reminded of the Judge Lorin Duckman case where Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki destroyed the man. High elected officials are not supposed to work up hysteria for their political benefit. The actions of Giuliani, Pataki, and the Bar in New York stunk of fascism.

I was pleased to see that Judge Murphy was successful in defending himself from a charge that seems on its face to have been constructed from a supposed quote and political fantasy.

The only question I have is where did the $2 million figure come from? That seems high. It is not the damage to Judge Duckman or Judge Murphy that is paramount; either man could be hit by a bus, killed by a madman or stricken with a dread decease. It is the technique that was used against these men that is worrisome as a social policy matter. Which technique was at play in the DUKE case, to the shame of the school.

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