Medill Justice Project Podcast Provides Rare Behind-the-Scenes Look at Investigation of Death Row Inmate's Case

Press Release ( - EVANSTON, Ill. - Jul 13, 2016 - ​​For the first time, The Medill Justice Project releases a podcast series offering listeners exclusive access to its investigation of a potentially wrongful conviction.

Over 10 weeks this spring, a team of Northwestern University undergraduate and graduate students examined a 40-year-old murder case, discovering significant details overlooked and ballistics evidence that points away from Tommy Zeigler, who was convicted of the crime.

The students investigated the case as part of a journalism class MJP supports at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

“The Medill Justice Project is a unique program,” said Northwestern University Prof. Alec Klein, MJP’s director. “There’s no other known program like it in the world where students at a university, as part of a class, investigate a real murder case where the accused says that he or she has been wrongfully convicted or charged and then we publish our findings for the world.”

The podcast is available as at

In June, MJP published its investigation of the case, shedding light on two witnesses who call into question Zeigler’s guilt but whose accounts never made it into the trial. Prosecutors argued Zeigler shot himself in the lower torso to make it appear he was the victim of a robbery. But experts say it is practically unheard of for someone to shoot themselves in such a critical place, risking death, to cover up a crime. And the two key witnesses against Zeigler offered accounts of the night of the crime that have changed over the years while details have disappeared.

About The Medill Justice Project

The Medill Justice Project, founded at Northwestern University in 1999, is an award-winning national investigative journalism center that examines potentially wrongful convictions, probes national systemic criminal justice issues and conducts groundbreaking research. As journalists, MJP advocates only for the truth.

For more information:

Prof. Alec Klein, Northwestern University
Director, The Medill Justice Project
(847) 467-4476

Amanda Westrich
Director of operations, The Medill Justice Project
(847) 467-5307

Allisha Azlan
Associate, The Medill Justice Project
(847) 491-5840

Source : The Medill Justice Project

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