Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Criminal Justice and the media in the Capital Region

I just had a very interesting experience. I was interviewed by Ernie Tetrault for a program that airs on Schenectady public access cable (channel 16) and apparently also on UPN 4.

Ernie is a long-time news anchor for WRGB, CBS channel 6. I think he's either retired or semi-retired from WRGB now, but he is still active. He's the kind of guy you just can't help but like.

He has become involved, along with a few others in the area media (such as Carl Strock), in a group that is taking a critical look at the area's criminal justice system. Mostly they seem focused on Rensselaer District Attorney Trish DeAngelis, who has gotten a lot of bad press in the last couple years.

Ernie noticed my blog (I still can't believe people read this :-) ) and e-mailed me. We had lunch with Mary Carroll, whose husband is one of the people they consider to have been railroaded by DeAngelis. I should note here that I graduated law school with Trish, and while we're not close, I do consider her a friend. I have no personal experience with her as a DA. I have a case going with her office at the moment, but it's not a high-profile case and she has not been personally involved.

The group is called Justice Now, and it's website is justicenow4.com. One of the things they're doing is an interview show. So when we had lunch, Ernie invited me to interview on the show.

The interview was a pleasant experience. It's hard to have a conversation with him and not enjoy it. That's probably why he's such a good interviewer. He makes the interviewee comfortable.

We talked about speeding tickets, DWI and other aspects of being a lawyer in the Albany Schenectady area.

Afterward, he invited me to become an interviewer on the show. So now I've got all sorts of ideas running through my head about who I could interview and what I would interview them about.

Another nice part of the experience was the guy running the equipment -- Todd Wilson. He was also very nice, and he has an interesting web business selling cigars. It's always interesting to talk to another person who does business on the web.
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