TV reporter granted early release from home confinement

New York, April 8, 2005
—The Rhode Island television reporter convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to reveal a confidential source was granted early release from his home-confinement sentence this week.

Jim Taricani, an investigative reporter with NBC-owned WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I., is expected to be released tomorrow after U.S. District Court Judge Ernest Torres found Wednesday that the reporter had complied with the conditions of his confinement, which included a ban on him working, giving media interviews, or using the Internet.

Taricani, 55, was sentenced December 9 to six months of confinement for refusing to reveal who leaked him an FBI surveillance tape that was used as evidence in a municipal corruption trial. Torres had said the reporter would be eligible for early release if he met the conditions of his sentence.

The sentence came despite the fact that the source for the leaked tape came forward publicly. CPJ denounced the sentence, saying that it sent a terrible message to the rest of the world.