Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rodricus Crawford: Louisiana; Aftermath (3): Bulletin: Renowned reporter Domonique Benn - a recipient of two prestigious 'Edward R. Murrow Awards for "outstanding achievements in electronic journalism"- reported to be working "on special assignment" on the Crawford case, in an update of KSLA story on the momentous Louisiana Supreme Court decision. (Information on access through TV and the Internet to be brought to our readers attention when available.)

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  News that KSLA anchor Domonique Benn has been working on special assignment involving this important death penalty  case is significant, as Benn is one of America's leading journalists.  A bio published on the KSLA site indicates that: "Domonique has worked in newsrooms in Mississippi, Georgia, and Virginia.  The University of Florida graduate has a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications-News and a minor in English with a concentration in African American Literature.  Since coming to KSLA News 12 in November 2010, Domonique has worked on several investigative reports.  Her report on "Protective Orders" shined the light on domestic violence and an alarming number of murder suicides in Shreveport/Bossier.  The report also caught the eyes of state lawmakers who are brainstorming ways to make laws tougher for those who violate protective orders.  Another one of her special assignments included a challenge to 12 viewers to get healthier.  She created the Knock It Off Challenge and brought in nutrition specialists and fitness experts to help the group lose weight.  At the end of the 12 week journey, the group had lost more than 260 pounds. In April 2009, the Virginia Associated Press named Domonique "Best Anchor of the Year".  A recipient of two prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards, Domonique was recognized for her investigative report, "Bad Medicine" and recognized for team coverage on a deadly train wreck and chlorine spill.  In January 2008, Domonique's hard work earned her national recognition when she was featured in Ebony magazine as one of the 30 talented young adults on the rise. Domonique started her career in Biloxi, Mississippi as a producer before quickly being promoted to reporter. She moved to Augusta, Georgia as reporter and was later promoted to anchoring the top-rated First at Five newscast.  While in Augusta Domonique's assignments included reporting from both state capitols in Georgia and South Carolina to report on some of the most controversial legislation.  Every year she looked forward to reporting on the annual Masters Golf Tournament where she reported on the best golfers in the world and the coveted title that thousands come to see the golfers compete to take home. During her career, Domonique has interviewed civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, entertainer James Brown, and the tallest man in America.  Domonique was the only local reporter to sit exclusively  one-on-one with the entertainer days after he announced he had prostate cancer and she was the only journalist out of local and international media invited to ride with James Brown in his limo to his statue unveiling in Augusta. Domonique looks forward to telling stories and getting to know people in the area.  She enjoys volunteering and speaking at area churches, schools, and civic organizations. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the National Association of Black Journalists. She also serves on the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-American Emmy Board of Governors.  Domonique and her family live in Bossier City. She  is very active in the Ark-LaTex and serves on the March of Dimes Board for the Northwest Region.  She continues to share her life's philosophy, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." Benn  is the ideal journalist to dig into the story of how a grieving father ended up on death row in Louisiana after his one-year- old son died of sepsis caused by an underlying pneumonia - and the efforts a notorious prosecutor named Dale Cox took  to ensure that Rodricus, the second youngest man ever placed on Louisiana's death row, would meet the executioner.  I will provide details for accessing TV and Internet access for her upcoming report as soon as they are available.

Hrold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

"KSLA Anchor Domonique Benn has been working on special assignment involving this case. In the appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court, defense attorneys say prosecutors struck potential jurors off the case based on race.  The Louisiana Supreme Court Justices agreed.   A month ago, Crawford’s attorney Cecelia Kappel say told Domonique, "He is given a presumption that he is a criminal element based on his race and socioeconomic status.  I think the result would have been very different if he were white.  I think the result would have been very different if he was middle class African American.  In this case he was presumed to be a criminal."  Kappel adds the prosecuting attorney used stereotypes as a reason for imposing the death penalty. Crawford admitted he smoked marijuana frequently, was unemployed, and lived with his mother.   Rodricus Crawford was convicted and sentenced to death in November 2013, but now the Louisiana Supreme Court issued an opinion Tuesday overturning the conviction. The court was unanimous in coming to the conclusion that there was an error in this case. However, the justices have varying opinions on what the error was and how to correct it.  Abbie Crawford, Rodricus Crawford's mother spoke with KSLA News 12's Domonique Benn and told her, ".  Ain’t know way in the world he would do anything to harm that baby because he loved his baby.""