ABC on Execution: Sharp Contrast Versus No Contrast

February 22nd, 2006 1:19 PM

On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, news reader Bill Weir offered two widely different ways of describing the legal case involving the delayed execution of convicted killer Michael Morales in California. Weir’s second blurb on the story came at 8:32 AM and was attention catching:

Bill Weir: "New debate this morning over the death penalty after a last minute decision in the case of convicted killer Michael Morales. California prison officials postponed his execution indefinitely when doctors refused to administer a new court ordered method of lethal injection. Morales is on death row for torturing, raping and killing a 17 year-old girl. He claims lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment."

In an earlier take on the story in the 7:00 half hour, Weir offered scant context as to who Michael Morales is and what he did that caused a jury to sentence him to death:

Weir: "In California this morning: execution postponed. Convicted killer Michael Morales was just hours from death when he got an indefinite reprieve after court ordered doctors refused to participate. Now, the courts must decide the controversial question whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, a case with far reaching implications."