Purported, Alleged… Fact

Richmond.com reported on the wind-up of a white supremacist robbery trial. The last of the defendants, who was an informant for the FBI, received a seven-year prison sentence. the headline was a bit odd:

Last defendant in alleged white supremacist robbery conspiracy sentenced to 7 years

It’s good that newspapers account for not laying blame until the courts have ruled. What’s odd here is that while the crime might have been alleged before the trial started, now that the last defendant has been found guilty it’s safe to step down from the ‘alleged’ and just call it the robbery conspiracy that it was.

I might be, in these racially sensitive times, to analyze descriptions of crimes and their states vis-a-vis the races of the defendants and victims. But for my day job would have gone I…