Bleg: German News Coverage of Failures of German Justice

I am working on an op-ed piece and perhaps an article about journalistic coverage of the German criminal justice system which I hope to publish on paper, in German, in some German newspaper.

The subject is going to be what I perceive to be the imbalance in German-language coverage of the American criminal justice system versus the German criminal justice system. That is, German-language newspapers are full of coverage (of widely varying quality, much of it error-filled) about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, American death row inmate X or Z, but rarely cover problems in the German criminal justice system. Before asserting this, I want to try to make sure it's true!

So what I am looking for is articles in the German-language press by Germans which deal with potential justice problems in courts in German-speaking countries including:

(1) wrongful convictions;

(2) racial, ethnic, or religious disparities in conviction rates or sentencing;

(3) allegations of racial or ethnic or religious bias among German prosecutors and professional or lay judges;

(4) interviews with prisoners currently serving prison sentences in Germany who claim that they are completely innocent of the crimes of which they were convicted; and/or

(5) detailed examinations of systemic problems in German criminal justice or prisons, things such as underfunding, outdated regulations, disproportionate penalties, or the use of unreliable evidence.

I'm interested, in particular, in well-researched studies or in-depth reportings, not just stories like 'this lefty activist claims he was convicted only because the judge was a right-winger and we lefty activist journalists of course totally believe him and feel no need to research the allegations any further!!' There's a lot of that about in Germany, and it's generally justly ignored.

Also I'm not super-interested in stories about the RAF, which I consider to be an irrelevant side issue. I'm interested in well-considered stories about why random anonymous criminal Achmet got 4 years in prison for the exact same crime that random anonymous criminal Detlef got 2 years for.

Thanks in advance for any links in comments.

6 thoughts on “Bleg: German News Coverage of Failures of German Justice

  1. Thanks a lot, mak! I was unaware of some of those pieces, but I know Der Spiegel is the best mainstream source for these.

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  2. Maybe the case of Oury Jalloh could be of interest:

    http://www.mdr.de/mdr-figaro/hoerspiel/feature/jalloh-overath100.html

    There is/was plenty of coverage of this case in basically any german mainstream medium.

    With regard to wrongful convictions the cases of Harry Wörz, Horst Arnold and Ulvi K. come to mind:

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/justizopfer-harry-woerz-verklagt-baden-wuerttemberg-auf-schadensersatz-a-982871.html

    http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-112638344.html

    http://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/landgericht-bayreuth-warum-der-fall-peggy-wieder-aufgerollt-wird-1.1928724

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  3. Folks, the approach seems wrong. You are collecting anecdotes when you should be collecting data. Maybe the US system simply is more messed up, so the Germans are being too lenient.

    Also, you suspect something without even having evidence. That makes you suspect. You look like you have an agenda.

    Like

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