SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER RECOGNIZED FOR OUSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ON THE WASHINGTON STATE JUSTICE SYSTEM
"2002 Emery A. Brownell Award Winner"
WASHINGTON, DC, November 4, 2002 — The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the Emery A. Brownell Award is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for “Uncertain Justice,” a three-day series that uncovered flaws in the Washington State justice system. The news outlet will be honored during the NLADA 2002 Annual Conference Awards Dinner on Friday, November 15, at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in Wisconsin.
"The articles had an enormously important impact in calling attention to the need for improved resources for people accused of capital offenses and a need to have standards and trainings for attorneys representing clients charged with capital offenses," said Robert Boruchowitz, director of The Defender Association in Seattle. "It was an important series at an important time."
The Emery A. Brownell Award gives national recognition to newspapers, magazines, filmmakers, and television and radio stations that have informed the public about the crucial role played by civil legal aid or defender organizations in ensuring equal justice for those who cannot afford counsel. This award commemorates Emery Brownell, who was NLADA's executive director from 1940 until his death in 1961.
As a result of “Uncertain Justice,” the Washington State Supreme Court adopted higher standards for death penalty attorneys. Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporters Lise Olsen and Rebekah Denn wrote the series. Only days after it was published in August 2001, the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court cited the newspaper’s findings and called for financial and procedural reforms. The immediate, emphatic response underscores the contribution the series made to alerting the public to deficiencies in a system that holds the power of life and death.
For more information on NLADA awards, visit www.nlada.org.
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The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) champions effective legal assistance for people who cannot afford counsel, serves as a collective voice for both civil legal services and public defense services throughout the nation and provides a wide range of services and benefits to its individual and organizational members. Founded in 1911, NLADA is the oldest and largest national, nonprofit membership organization devoting all of its resources to advocating equal access to justice for all Americans.