EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Comments Policy

Since I started this blog in 2007, I have been proud of the fact that I've allowed all voices to be heard in the comments section. I've always approved all comments that were on point and respectful. As readers have probably noted, I've recently even approved comments that were off topic and borderline disrespectful. That changed last night when I received a deluge of disrespectful comments directed not toward me, but toward one of the subjects of my posts. As such, I took the post down and decided to deliberate today over whether to start seriously moderating comments for the first time. Given that the disrespectful comments continued today, I am regrettably instituting a new comments policy, pursuant to which I will be moderating comments. As someone who is a strong advocate of free speech, it's not a decision I make lightly, and I hope it is merely a temporary change. Thanks, and I hope that this will lead to a more respectful and productive exchange of information in the comments section.



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I think that is a good idea. Curious who was moderating the comments before today?

Posted by: theghostoftomlandery | May 28, 2015 3:58:09 PM

I have always "moderated" comments, but I have pretty much never deleted a comment that made it past the spam filter before. But something weird has happened the last two days. I think you can see from the past comments I have approved that a change in policy was necessitated and not something I take lightly.

Posted by: Colin Miller | May 28, 2015 4:02:50 PM

It's so sad you have to do that Colin. I still don't understand why people can't have adult debates and conversations. Love your posts Colin.

Posted by: Hillary Dillary Doc | May 28, 2015 4:27:57 PM

Hey Colin, when are you going to get around to telling the world about your spectacular theory that Hae was killed in a motor vehicle accident?

Posted by: TheBonnerParty | May 28, 2015 4:29:36 PM

Hillary Dillary Doc: Thanks.

TheBonnerParty: I hate to address a lie presumably created by the same people who have been posting the objectionable comments the last 2 days, but I figure I might as well offer this brief comment: As my prior posts make clear, I'm probably the biggest proponent of the theory that Hae was killed outside her car. Someone asked me to ask the medical examiners I've cited on this blog about the theory that Hae's injuries could have come from a car crash. I asked, and the uniform response was that this was a clear case of strangulation. That's it.

Posted by: Colin Miller | May 28, 2015 4:40:53 PM

Can you re-post the entry from yesterday minus the comments? I read the first couple of sentences & to distracted by my kids. When I went back to the site today.....the post was gone.

Posted by: Michael | May 28, 2015 5:48:49 PM

Hi Prof. Miller, I have been following your blog closely for months, and every new post is an enjoyable part of my day. I have learned a great deal from your legal arguments, as well as from observing the clear and professional manner in which you address (sometimes obnoxious) comments & inquiries. Your style reminds me of the best professors I had back at UVA (wahoowa!) - that of a true and knowledgeable class act.
Hadn't commented before, so wanted to mention that your work is appreciated, and inspiring. Looking forward to next developments and Undisclosed episodes!

Posted by: Dani Li | May 28, 2015 6:08:33 PM

Wow. I can't believe it has come to this. Your professionalism and expertise throughout your blog are barnone. Your research is diligent and well prepared. You are a true professional in every sense of the word. I admire your passion and intelligence and hope that a few babbling idiots (I only chose this wording as to not get sensored myself ;) don't discourage or dissuade you from your excellent work. Thank you so much for all you do. I for one am in awe and look forward to each post.

Posted by: Carley | May 28, 2015 6:22:57 PM

And can I also add...
I'm not a fan of hockey, so I don't watch it. I'm not a fan of country music, so I don't listen to it. I'm not a fan of golf, so I don't play it. In other words, IF YOU DONT LIKE THIS BLOG, DONT READ IT. End of story. Don't hate. Don't be juvenile. Don't be an a-hole. Just do us all a favor and don't read it.

Posted by: Carley | May 28, 2015 6:38:20 PM

OK. So the haters have found this quiet, rational space and seem dedicated to ruining it. I am reading from Australia, like thousands of others, and your legal system is a mystery to us. I appreciate your time, your expertise and your patience in explaining the train wreck that is this case and your attempts to find out what happened. So Colin, just had to let you know that we are reading and loving your work and are sorry that you now have to become a moderator on top of all your other roles.

Posted by: FarFarAway | May 28, 2015 10:57:26 PM

Michael: I think I'm going to avoid adding fuel to the flame. Starting right after the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland remanded the case back to the Circuit Court, there seems to have been a concerted attempt to discredit by the same people who repeatedly claimed that the court would never remand. It started with an effort to spread a rumor that I was in support of a theory that Hae died in a motor vehicle accident. When that plainly false rumor failed to take hold, the next plan seems to have been to flood my blog with negative comments. I’m not going to re-post the entry and provide a sounding board for further attacks. In any event, the points made in the post were pretty much the same as the ones I made in this post back in January, when I noted that Urick’s PCR hearing testimony and interview with the Intercept could lead to Adnan’s PCR hearing being reopened:


It turns out that’s exactly what happened.

Posted by: Colin Miller | May 29, 2015 2:59:21 AM

Colin, I am sorry that this has happened but given some things that these people have posted else where, sadly it was only a matter of time until they attacked you and your blog as well. I thoroughly enjoy all of your posts and really hope you won't let a handful of misguided goons distract us all from the real goal. Please keep up the great work!!

Posted by: Ella | May 29, 2015 3:40:58 AM

Sadly, sometimes the only way to uphold free speech is to take that privilege away from those who seek to stifle it with shouting, bullying and spiteful behaviour.

Posted by: Sue | May 29, 2015 3:54:47 AM

I don't see that you have an obligation to publish all comments, or that it limits freedom of speech if you choose to moderate submissions. Newspapers don't publish every letter sent to the editor, for example. They select and print ones they feel add value to discussion about particular issues. In any case, this is your site, and you can set the rules as you see fit. It shouldn't become a forum for those who seek only to be disruptive, like hecklers at a lecture or public address.

Posted by: streetwriter | May 29, 2015 4:41:05 AM

If you have always had to approve comments, then those abusive comments were never posted right? So why remove your post if those comments were never posted? Doesn't make sense. Am I missing something?

Posted by: Ben | May 29, 2015 4:42:04 AM

It always seems that people turn to abusive language and personal insults when they have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation. That seems to be happening more and more, especially as you, Susan and Rabia tear apart the State's case against Adnan. And that says a lot. I fully respect your right to moderate submissions. There's a difference between stifling well thought out and reasonable arguments, and denying offensive remarks. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Sara | May 29, 2015 6:19:33 AM

"Sadly, sometimes the only way to uphold free speech is to take that privilege away..."

Wow...wow. You worry me.

Posted by: Curious | May 29, 2015 6:26:57 AM

Ben: Yes, and as I said in this post, I've had a policy for 7.5 years of not regularly deleting comments that made it past the spam filter. As a result of the comments two days ago (and yesterday), I regrettably had to change that policy.

Curious: That's the conundrum, right? Normally, I would agree with your position that free speech means all speech, but a line has to be drawn somewhere so that people feel comfortable speaking without abuse.

Posted by: Colin Miller | May 29, 2015 8:17:15 AM

This a repeat of what has been said above, but want to add my thanks for the work you are doing. I enjoy reading more detailed information about the case and the evidence, and respect your opinions on the legal issues presented. I hope those with agendas don't dissuade you from fighting the good fight. Because one thing is clear to me. Regardless of Adnan's guilt or innocence, this entire investigation and trial were an abomination, and it's important we turn the light on to some of these issues within our criminal justice system. Thank you for your efforts.

Posted by: Sassy | May 29, 2015 8:18:52 AM

prof, thank you for all your hard work and everything you've contributed to this case. every falsely convicted inmate would be lucky to have you and the undisclosed team. after watching 'the confession' yesterday i'am beyond hopeless in regards to our justice system. flawed from it's core. i sincerely don't understand how some of the followers of this case still believe that justice was carried out. this is how it's done and i'm convinced adnan is just another victim amongst many. watch this folks.
keep up the good work prof!

Posted by: whoarethoseguys? | May 29, 2015 9:42:07 AM

Its kinda refreshing seeing a post without Seamus responding first. I can't believe he had no opinion on this.

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2015 3:25:00 PM

I have nothing but respect for you for tolerating hostile comments for so long.

I just wanted to chime in and thank you. Regardless of the facts of Serial (and you've made me go from 'undecided' to 'probably innocent'), you and Susan Simpson have really made it clear what a defense attorney actually does, and for that alone I'd be grateful.

Posted by: Liz | May 29, 2015 8:57:37 PM

@curious. I don't know whether I should worry you but my comment certainly should! Free speech only works when everyone works to uphold everyone's rights to it. When you are insulting someone you are trying to make them shut up. When you are bullying someone you are trying to make them shut up, when you are dominating the conversation you are preventing other from speaking. Do you see where I'm going with this? Sometimes other people's abuse of free speech actually prevents everyone else from having their own free speech.

Taking away these bullying, hectoring people's privilege is a way of standing up for everyone else's right to free speech. Is it a great solution? Not in my opinion, it's the least bad solution.

A great solution would be if nasty or selfish people could just grow up and recognise that everyone should be afforded the right to speak, not just them!

Posted by: Sue | May 30, 2015 3:48:06 AM

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