We had some discussion last night over how to play the print version of this morning's story on DA Jim Woodall seeking the death penalty against Demario Atwater, one of Eve Carson's accused killers. (The other suspect, Laurence Lovette, at 17, is too young to be eligible for capital punishment.)
Since the story had been online since late morning, I wanted to lead the print story with Atwater and Lovette trolling Rosemary Street looking for someone to rob when they saw Carson alone at her computer through a window. That was chilling to me, because it puts us in the moment and again emphasizes what police said from Day One: this was a random crime. It took many a while to believe that, given Carson's prominence on campus.
Front page editor Steve Merelman wanted to play up the unusualness of the DA going for the death penalty in a Chapel Hill case. He pointed to a good string on OrangePolitics.org that blogger/activist (is that redundant?) Fred Black put up shortly after Monday's hearing. So, because we usually try to do what that Page One editor asks, staff writer Jesse DeConto went back out to get some public reaction. You can read it here if you have not already.
What do you think? When a story has already been online should we revise it for print the next day? Is the story here the DA going for the death penalty, the unusualness of that in our community or the reminder that no one is really safe anymore? There are no right and wrong answers.