By now, most readers of this blog have probably seen the news stories about a school shooting that occurred in Michigan a couple weeks ago, and are aware of the prosecutor’s decision to charge the alleged shooter’s parents with involuntary manslaughter. If not, we covered it for you in the News Roundup (twice). Those articles contain extensive details about the facts of the case, the reasoning behind the charges against the parents, and the evidence that the state believes will support the charges. We now know about a meeting earlier the same day between the parents and school administrators, disturbing artwork found in a school desk, online searches for ammunition, texts and social media posts about the firearm, and much more.
The novelty of pursuing criminal charges against the parents of the alleged shooter has drawn most of the national attention, but it prompted me to think about another interesting issue that comes up fairly often in high-profile criminal cases: how much should the prosecutor be telling us about this pending case?