On July 27, 1996, a bomb went off at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia at the Summer Olympics. Security guard Richard Jewell had observed and reported the bomb. He subsequently became the prime suspect in the case which was widely reported internationally. Jewell was later exonerated after a serial bomber named Eric Rudolph, who was responsible for several bombings over multiple states, was arrested and charged. Jewell subsequently sued the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, and his former employer, Piedmont College. He settled a suit with CNN for an undisclosed amount of money. Jewell considered filing suit against the FBI but declined, believing it would be futile. This situation has resulted in a greater concern over how people are identified when they may, or may not, be material to a criminal investigation.
Based on this situation as a historical backdrop, research a minimum of two scholarly and/or credible sources on another investigation where an individual is not identified as a suspect but, rather, by another term such as “a person of interest” by law enforcement. Analyze how the chosen situation was handled differently from the Jewell case and what, if any, influence the Jewell case may have had on the handling chosen situation. Analyze legal policies and Constitutional mandates that pertain to privacy rights. Explain the responsibility law enforcement personnel have in protecting privacy rights while doing their jobs. Evaluate ethical issues as they pertain to law enforcement agency operations, in this case specifically to the identification of suspects in the media. Provide an example of how criminal events may be “tried in the court of public opinion” due to the media coverage. Suggest a remedy for how this can be mitigated.
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