This Just In: September 24 - October 1 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Jail Break!

Summary: Select inmates will be released from the Allegheny County Jail during the G-20 summit to make room for protesters whom police anticipate arresting. Reporter: Tara Edwards, WTAE Channel 4 Airtime: 1 minute, 9 seconds on Sept. 17 Visuals: * Edwards, in her standard, WTAE-issued Columbia jacket outside the well-landscaped jail (flowers and everything!) in the dark of night. * About every outside angle of the jail you could possibly imagine. And then some. Highlights: * When Edwards relays, "We're being told that the Court of Common Pleas is looking at inmates nearing their parole. Anywhere from 100 to 200 inmates could be released. Now this is information coming out of County Chief Executive Dan Onorato's office. Inmates that could possibly be let out of jail early or also those whose bails may have been set a little too high as well." * When she adds, "This would be for the Allegheny County Jail to make way for those arrested during the G-20 summit next week. Now we spoke to one woman who did not want her face on camera, but she just got out of jail about an hour ago, and she thinks it's a good idea." * When the newly released woman pontificates, "Oh yes, they should. Like, anything that's not violent they should, you know. With retail theft, receiving stolen property, anything like that, they should release. Um, now violent offenses, pedophiles, stuff like that -- keep 'em in there. They deserve to be in there. They knew what they were doing. Drug addicts -- get 'em treatment." * When Edwards concludes, "As soon as we get more information on this, we'll bring that to you." Can't wait! What We Learned: Apparently, those found guilty of retail theft and stolen property did not know what they were doing. Unanswered Question: Do you think Tara would have found inmates who thought their release wasn't a good idea? News Value: Onorato is telling the public to calm down -- which is good advice for reporters, too. On Sept. 18, WPXI reported that a judge said up to 1,000 inmates could be released. Later in the story -- a brief blurb -- it's mentioned that Onorato disagreed, saying it will be about 100. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported 300 on Sept. 18. Pittsburghers should be just as vigilant about questioning local TV news reporting as we are about the G-20 summit.

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