Thurgood Marshall Journalism Awards

"The question with which we must deal is not whether a substantial proportion of American citizens would today, if polled, opine that capital punishment is barbarously cruel, but whether they would find it to be so in light of all information presently available."
- Justice Thurgood Marshall

Furman v. Georgia
In 1996, the Death Penalty Information Center established the Thurgood Marshall Journalism Awards to recognize those writers and producers who have made an exceptional contribution to the understanding of the problems associated with capital punishment. The award is named in honor of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a champion of justice, who believed that a well-informed public would ultimately reject the use of the death penalty.

The Thurgood Marshall Journalism Awards have been discontinued as of January 2009.  Thank you to all who have expressed interest in this program.



Gary Fields, The Wall Street Journal, "Criminal Mind"
Video: Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch, and Eleanor Hayes, Amy Rogan, Jamie Walters and Jeff Gostomski, The Ohio News Network, "Deadly Convictions"
Innocence: Steve Mills and Maurice Possley, The Chicago Tribune, "Did This Man Die for This Man's Crime?"
Special Award: News Staff of The Angolite
Judges: Larry Marshall, Virginia Sloan

Print: Robert Nelson, Phoenix New Times, “About Face”
Video: Jacqui Lofaro and Victor Teich of Justice Productions, “The Empty Chair”
Judges: Robert Johnson, Virginia Sloan

Print: Carla Crowder, The Birmingham News, "Mother Finds She Can Accept Son's Date with Executioner"
Innocence: Steve Mills, Maurice Possley, Chicago Tribune, "Texas Man Executed on Disproved Forensics"
Video: Katy Chevigny, Kirsten Johnson, "Deadline"
Judges: Loren Ghiglione, Virginia Sloan

Print: Alex Kotlowitz, The New York Times, "In the Face of Death"
Print: Steve Mills, Maurice Possley, Don Terry, Chicago Tribune, "The Legacy of Wrongful Convictions"
Audio: Karen Callahan, Matthew Ozug, SoundPortraits, "Parents at an Execution"
Video: Ofra Bikel, "Burden of Innocence"
Special Award: Alan Berlow, Career Excellence
Judges: Graham Dower, Virginia Sloan

Print: Christopher Glass, Theresa Boeckel, Sharon Smith, The York Daily Record, Series on the Death Penalty
Video: Elizabeth Garbus, Nancy Abraham, The Execution of Wanda Jean
Judges: Stacy Abramson, Paul Begala, Colman McCarthy

Print: Rebekah Denn, Lise Olsen, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Uncertain Justice"
Audio: David Isay, SoundPortraits, John Keefe, Gary Covino, WNYC, "The Execution Tapes"
Video: Bill Kurtis, A&E Network, "Investigative Reports: Death Penalty on Trial"
Judges: Hugo Bedau, Lydia Chavez, Constance Putnam

Print: John Shiffman, The Tennesseean, "Judgment Day"
Audio: David Isay, Stacy Abramson, SoundPortraits, "Witness to an Execution"
Special Award: Jim Dwyer, The New York Times, Career Excellence
Judges: Colman McCarthy, Dina Hellerstein

Print: Ken Armstrong, Steve Mills, Chicago Tribune, "The Failure of the Death Penalty in Illinois"
Video: Jeff Crilley, Guy Hernandez, Fox 4 TV, Dallas, Texas
Judges: Jim Dwyer, Colman McCarthy

Print: Eric Bates, The Independant, "Shadow of a Doubt"
Video: Richard Harris, Terry Moran, Artis Waters, Diana Pierce, Nightline (ABC-TV)
Special Award: Clint Eastwood, True Crime
Judges: Mike Farrell, Jim Dwyer, Don Terry

Print: Dan Malone, Howard Swindle, Dallas Morning News, "America's Condemned, Death Row in Their Own Words"
Video: David Kelley, Ed Redlich, The Practice: Spirit of America
Judges: Mike Farrell, Jim Dwyer, Leon Botstein

Print: Frank Green, Richmond Times Dispatch, Series
Video: Elizabeth Garbus, Jonathan Stack, Final Judgment: The Execution of Antonio James
Judges: Bill Kovach, Anthony Lewis, Thomas Wicker