Chicago Tribune reporters Steve Mills and Maurice Possley have won two major awards for their criminal justice coverage. Mills and Possley won the 2007 American Judicature Society Toni House Journalism Award. The award is named after the late U.S. Supreme Court public information officer. It honors outstanding journalism that enhances public understanding of the courts and/or contributes to the improvement of the administration of justice. Their work has included investigative reports on the failure of capital punishment in specific cases. Another series focused on major forensic science issues that have contributed to reform in criminal courts.
Mills and Possley also won this year’s Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award for Posthumour Exploration of Innocence. The award will be given tomorrow by the Death Penalty Information Center, which cited the three-part series, “Did One Man Die for Another Man’s Crime?,” which said that Texas may have taken an innocent man’s life when it executed Carlos DeLuna. Other winners of Thurgood Marshall awards are Gary Fields of the Wall Street Journal for his coverage of the controversy surrounding the administration of the death penalty to the mentally ill, five staff members of the Columbus Dispatch and Ohio News Network for “Deadly Convictions, about the case of Ohio death row inmate John Spirko, and the staff of The Angolite, Louisiana State Penitentiary’s Prison Magazine.