March 9, 2017

ABA Announces 2017 Finalists For Silver Gavel Awards @ABAEsq

From the American Bar Association:

ABA announces finalists for 2017 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 —The American Bar Association today announced the 19 finalists for the 2017 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts, which recognize outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. This is the ABA’s highest honor in recognition of this purpose.

“The ABA’s Gavel Awards Screening Committee members were challenged to select finalists among so many worthy entries,” said Stephen C. Edds, chair of the Standing Committee on Gavel Awards. “We congratulate our finalists and look forward to identifying awardees among an already select group.”

The winners will be announced on May 10.

No more than one Silver Gavel is presented in each category. Honorable mentions are also awarded, but awards are not presented in every category in every year.

The ABA Gavel Awards Screening Committee, composed of 45 lawyer-members of the ABA, selected the 19 finalists from 156 entries received in all eligible categories, which include books, commentary, documentaries, drama and literature, magazines, multimedia, newspapers, radio and television.
Selection criteria include how the entry addresses the Gavel Awards’ purpose and objectives; educational value of legal information; impact on, or outreach to, the public; thoroughness and accuracy in presentation of issues; creativity and originality in approach to subject matter and effectiveness of presentation; and demonstrated technical skill in the entry’s production.      

The association has presented these awards each year since 1958, which makes 2017 the 60th annual presentation. The 18-member ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards makes the final award decisions. ABA President Linda Klein will present Silver Gavels and Honorable Mentions on July 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. 

To learn more about the Silver Gavel Awards, go to

The following is a complete list of finalists, with links to their work:

BOOKS“Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” Heather Ann Thompson, author Penguin Random House/Pantheon Books“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” Matthew Desmond, author Penguin Random House/Crown Publishers“The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution” Michael Klarman, author Oxford University Press“Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck” Adam Cohen, author Penguin Random House/Penguin Books“Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s” Risa Goluboff, author Oxford University Press

COMMENTARY“It’s Been 40 Years Since the Supreme Court Tried to Fix the Death Penalty — Here’s How It Failed” The Marshall Project Evan Mandery, professor John Jay College of Criminal Justice

DOCUMENTARIES“Admissions on Trial: Seven Decades of Race and Higher Education” Villita Media for KLRU-TV Lynn Boswell, producer, director and writer Paul Sweeney, Editor“Do Not Resist” VANISH Films Craig Atkinson, director Laura Hartrick, producer“Trapped” Trilogy Films Dawn Porter, director Marilyn Ness, producer

MAGAZINES“Where the Death Penalty Still Lives” New York Times Magazine Emily Bazelon, staff writer Ilena Silverman, features editor

MULTIMEDIA“Doubled Up In Solitary Confinement” National Public Radio and The Marshall Project Joseph Shapiro, correspondent, NPR Christie Thompson, staff writer, The Marshall Project Ruth Baldwin, director of communications, The Marshall Project Robert Little, senior supervising editor, Investigations, NPR

NEWSPAPERS“A Cry for Help” Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) Jennifer Bjorhus and Kelly Smith, reportersJeff Hargarten, Interactive data journalistMaryJo Webster, data editorRichard Tsong-Taatarii, visual journalist“Forsaken: Florida’s Broken Mental Health System” Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Dana Banker, managing editor Megan O’Matz, Sally Kestin and Stephen Hobbs, reporters John Maines, database editor“No Money, No Mercy” The New York Times Andrew Lehren and Shaila Dewan, reporters Christine Kay, enterprise editor Scott Blumenthal, deputy editor, Interactive News

RADIO"...and justice for all." Alabama Public Radio Pat Duggins, news director Stan Ingold, assistant news director Alex AuBuchon and Mackenzie Bates, news hosts/reporters“More Perfect” WNYC Studios Jad Abumrad, executive producer, host, creator Suzie Lechtenberg, executive producer Kelsey Padgett, producer, reporter Sean Rameswaram, correspondent Tobin Low, producer“This Land Is Our Land” Oregon Public Broadcasting Anna Griffin, news director David Blanchard, producer

TELEVISION“The Border” FOX5 Las Vegas Christine Maddela, news anchor“48 Hours: The Fight for Melissa” 48 Hours/CBS News Erin Moriarty, correspondentLourdes Aguiar, Charlotte Fuller and Gail Abbott Zimmerman, producers Judy Tygard, senior producer Susan Zirinsky, executive producer With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.

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