In a stark example of the internet’s power to multiply a mistake, an Ivy League professor who shares a name with a man accused of killing a Wesleyan University student has sued the school, saying it circulated his photo instead of the suspect’s and dragged its feet to correct the error, reports the Associated Press. Stephen L. Morgan’s old Massachusetts driver license picture appeared on news web sites worldwide during the manhunt for Stephen P. Morgan, who is charged with gunning down 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich in a bookstore near campus on May 6. Stephen L. Morgan, 38, is a Cornell University sociology professor and 1993 Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Harvard and Oxford. The actual suspect, Stephen P. Morgan, is a 29-year-old former classmate of Justin-Jinich’s at New York University who has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, intimidation based on bigotry or bias, and carrying a pistol without a permit. Stephen L. Morgan said Wesleyan has not apologized for mistakenly distributing his picture and has rebuffed his requests to publicly state he was never a suspect. His lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, claims "humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional distress … and injury to his career." A surveillance camera caught an image of the suspected assailant, a dark-haired man in glasses carrying a gun. Wesleyan distributed that picture along with the early-1990s driver license photo of the professor, an image that still could be found this week on some web sites with stories about the killing. The suspect turned himself in 35 hours after the shooting, but only after the professor’s photo–obtained from Massachusetts authorities–had been circulated to the media, students, employees, and others on Wesleyan’s campus security mailing list…

Click here for the full story

About the Author:

eSchool News


Add your opinion to the discussion.