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Court frames ‘Confessions’

Crier to host analytical legal panel

NEW YORK — Anticipating public outcry over its new series “Confessions,” Court TV plans to air a half-hour panel discussion following its premiere Sept. 10.

The panel, hosted by Court TV anchor Catherine Crier, will feature experts who will analyze the legal, psychological and ethical aspects of confessions. On Sept. 11, Court TV’s original daily series “Crier Today” and “Pros and Cons,” hosted by Nancy Grace, will also address the issues raised by “Confessions.”

The series, which features actual videotaped confessions of criminals, has already caused controversy among television and social critics, who see it as exploitative. A recent New York Times editorial criticized Court TV for its willingness “to sabotage its reputation for serious legal journalism with a lurid show where tales of murder are offered as a night’s entertainment.”

Court TV decided to add the panel discussion as a way to address concerns that the confessions would lack any context without a regular host or narrator. “We believe that valid concerns have been raised regarding the need for additional context about this program,” said Court TV chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff.

A special area of the Court TV Web site will feature in-depth interpretation and analysis of the role of confessions. Expert commentators will offer psychological and legal insight through chats, Webcasts and essays.

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