Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain’s recent investigation and new podcast, “Canary,” reveals the story of a woman who came forward with sexual-abuse allegations against Judge Truman A. Morrison III after she read that he sentenced a man who admitted attacking six women to 10 days in jail.
A Post review of Morrison’s cases over the years that he was on the D.C. Superior Court found at least five instances in which he gave no jail time to defendants convicted of felony sex crimes against minors and, in one case, an intellectually disabled adult.
The judge retired after 40 years on the bench a few days after receiving questions from the Post about his own conduct. He admitted to “sexual touching” of Carole Griffin, then a teen and the daughter of family friends. The judge said what he did was “totally inappropriate” and “wrongheaded” but also said: “I certainly did not think that I ever forced myself on her.”
Former IRW intern Madeleine Davison helped to research the judge’s sentencing decisions. Davison, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, is now in a post-grad data internship at the National Catholic Reporter.
Recent book chat: Leonard Downie Jr. talks about life as a longtime Washington Post editor — under whose stewardship the Post won 25 Pulitzer Prizes — in a recent virtual chat about his new book, “All about the Story.”
Downie explains how the reporting unfolded and why decisions were made on such important stories as the Watergate break-in and cover-up; the publication of the Unabomber’s manifesto; and the revelations unearthed about the CIA’s secret prisons. You can watch the one-hour conversation, led by moderator and journalism professor Dr. John Watson, here. Downie is a member of IRW’s advisory board.