Ill. man killed trying to steal power lines

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Finally, a headline writer with some guts/balls.
No namby-pamby use of the word "allegedly" here. Although the story itself does not say that the man died while trying to steal the power lines - which is disappointing.
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http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id#10705&spid Ill. man killed trying to steal power lines
Posted 10/14/11 12:11 p.m.
ALTON, Ill. (WLS) - Authorities near Alton in southwestern Illinois are investigating the electrocution of a man whose body was found near snipped electrical power lines investigators believe he was trying to steal.
Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn says 34-year-old Mark Becker of Granite City was found dead early Friday. Investigators believe he died Thursday night.
Nonn says evidence at the scene suggests that Becker made contact with charged overhead power lines after they had been cut from the utility pole.
The coroner says an investigation by Madison County sheriff's deputies and interviews with witnesses "failed to reveal any legitimate or lawful activity in which (Becker) would be engaged involving the utility infrastructure."
Nonn says an autopsy Friday confirmed that Becker was electrocuted.
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That's because dead people can't be libeled.
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Robert Neville wrote:

That was not given as a reason by others here when I started this thread back on August 4 where I point out the idiosyncratic use of the word "allegedly" in this media story:
==============================http://www.wafb.com/story/15201683/man-electrocuted-while-allegedly-stealing-wiring
Man electrocuted while allegedly stealing wiring Posted: Aug 03, 2011 11:33 AM EDT Updated: Aug 03, 2011 11:33 AM EDT HOUMA, LA (AP) -
A 34-year-old man was electrocuted while allegedly breaking in to steal copper wiring. =============================== Everyone here that was posted in defense of the use of the word "allegedly" was saying that it was done to protect the newspaper or newswire company from a lawsuit that could or would be launched by the dead criminal's family or estate.
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Don't believe what "everyone" says or what you read on the internet. You might find this reference from Radford University Law interesting though:
http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/class/law/1.5libel.html
Of particular interest is the fact that use of the word "allegedly" offers no legal protection - it's just being politically correct, and that while relatives of dead people can continue a libel suit, it's rarely possible start a suit if the target is already dead.
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I think you might be going a bit far interpreting what the legal website means by saying that the word allegedly offers no legal protection. In the example given, they say that saying "She allegedly has aids" is the same thing as saying "She has aids."
I would agree that would seem correct if the person making that statement is the one actually making the allegation or knows the allegation comes from a dubious source, may not be true, etc. For example, if I'm having a dispute with someone and put up on the web that "Mary allegedly has aids", for spite, it's clear that adding allegedly isn't a defense.
However if a reporter is covering an arrest for burglary and writes:
"John was arrested for allegedly stealing wire."
I'd say that is very different from the reporter leaving out the word allegedly and writing:
"John was arrested for stealing wire"
The first statement is 100% true and that in and of itself eliminates any libel. The second is NOT ture because it states he actually stole the wire, which he may not have.
If the paper leaves out the word allegedly, then they have done exactly what your legal website says NOT to do:
"For instance, in reporting an arrest, one reports the fact of the arrest. One does not say "Joe Smith was arrested for committing arson, police said" but rather: "Police have charged Joe Smith with arson." Reporting the charge (not an arrest for something) is factually correct and is also ethical in that you do not presume guilt."
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" snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote:

Your 2 statements above are never written that way.
You always find that the statements always go something like:
"A theft of wire was investigated by police. A suspect was being sought. John was taken into custody or John was arrested by police." Or "Police have made an arrest in a wire-theft case. Taken into custody was John."

Saying that "John was arrested for stealing wire" can be a true statement.
The police have to have a reason to arrest you. If John was taken into custody, then yes he was arrested, so that part is true. If he was arrested for stealing wire, then again that's true. It's up to the courts to decide if he really is guilty of stealing wire.
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Here's a couple or current examples from ABC News stating it exactly that way:
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/scarlett-johansson-mila-kunis-nude-photo-hacking-arrest/story?id=14720917 By ALYSSA NEWCOMB and LUCHINA FISHER (@luchina) Oct. 12, 2011
"A Florida man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly hacking into the emails of Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and other high-wattage stars and leaking private photos of the women to Internet sites. "
Or how about these:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/morristown_man_arrested_for_al_1.html
A 43-year-old Morristown man has been arrested for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old girl after offering to help her after she fell off her scooter.
http://www.kvue.com/news/Terror-suspect-allegedly-tried-to-hire-Zetas-drug-cartel-131565413.html
"Terror suspect allegedly tried to hire Zetas drug cartel ."

Per the above, no they don't

Can be ture is not the same as is true. What exactly is your problem with giving someone the benefit of the doubt until they are actually conviced?

As someone pointed out, how would you like it if they arrested you at a playground, mistaking you for the child molester and the paper ran the story:
Homeguy was arrested today for molesting a child on the local school grounds before you had a trial? Maybe you wouldn't care. But all the news organizations obviously do, so they insert the allegedly to be fair and help avoid a lawsuit.
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2011 09:45:42 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

What's wrong with having aids? Oh, AIDS!

Right, very good point.

Real my whole post before replying to this part.
You're making a good point, but I don't like the second part of your example. Saying he was arrested for stealing wire is not saying he actually stole the wire. Not unless it's agreed that the police only arrest guilty people, and even the police will tell you that's not so.
However I think papers are in the good habit of saying allegedly at almost every turn. It's easier to do that than to figure out each time whether it's needed or not.

In this one -- I haven't reviewed the one above again** -- I see two ways to read the sentence. He was arrested for arson because the police believe he committed arson, or he was arrested for the arson that he committed. Since readers coudl easily think of the second one and only t he second one, "allegedly" is a darn good idea.
**Oh, yeah your first example is just like the second one, in words, but for some reason I thought of my first kind of elaboration on the sentence and only that one. Not the second.

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how is "investigators believe he was trying to steal." any different from "allegedly"?
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Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds wrote:

Who's saying that it is different? Or the same?
If it walks like a duck and squawks like a duck, you don't say that a duck alledgedly walked and sqawked. You say that a duck walked and squawked.
If you find some dead boob on the ground beside some cut power cables and cutting tools nearby in a facility that he had to break into, you don't be a namby pamby and say he was "allegedly" trying to steal the power cable. You say that he died while trying to steal the cable.
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who cares what the duck did?

of course there is always that niggling possibility that he actually heard noises in the facility, decided to investigate, stumbled upon the tools, scared off the real perps and somehow contacted the live power cable and electrocuted himself.
Odds are that your interpretation is spot on, but I hate it when conclusions are jumped to and that leads to not investigating other possibilities
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On 10/15/2011 6:03 PM, Malcom "Mal" Reynolds wrote:

Exactly, it is just common sense to investigate stuff rather than jumping to conclusions.
I am sure home guy would have no issues at all if say a sexual predator was hanging out by schoolyards and home guy just happened to be in the area and had spilled a milkshake on his pants so his picture was prominently featured on all of the news media that evening as the sexual predator. After all if it looks like a duck...
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"I heard shouting, screaming and noises of a general kerfufle so being a good citizen/samaritan I decided to investigate and offer whatever help I could"
> Need to limit themself to picking up a phone and making a call.
yes, because the first thing you are taugh in first aid class is to try and stabilize the "victim" and then call for help. But I guess you would rather lose those precious minutes?
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You do if you want to avoid court. That is pretty much the first week of Communications Law in J-school. You say allegedly until the judge and/or jury says otherwise because if the judge and/or jury and/or the DA tosses out the charge the paper or station or individual can be sued.
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
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On 10/15/2011 9:49 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

And unless you are omniscient you also do it if you have common sense. Often things are not what they appear to be.
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But being a duck and walking and squawking aren't bad things.

Whether it's libel or not, newspapers shouldn't say what they don't know. You think stealing is the only explanation, but there are always other ones. Maybe he was delusional and thought the electricty was being used by mind control experts who could listen to what was said in every home and business that the power line supplied, and could insert ideas in the heads of those who lived and worked there, and he was protecting them.
Or he was doing vandalism for political reasons, a miniature version of bombing a power plant.
Have you noticed that the TV, and even the radio often now use "believe" where they should be using "say"?
George Bush believes, Barak Obama beliieves. Probably not even their wives actually know what they believe, only what they say. Yesterday on NPR they interviewd a guy who uses freezing peoiple for a ver short time as a way to increase their stamina and the interviewer said he believes in it. He makes and sells the equipment, so oif course he *says* it works. She should of just said "he said it works".
Reporters and people in general shouldn't say things they don't know.
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Just how f*ing stupid do you have to be to try and steal live power lines? Sheeeesh!
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never under-estimate the power of a public school education
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in message wrote:

LOL
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LOL. She may be including the 900 counties on Jupiter that are having protests.
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