Silver Gavel Awards for Media and The Arts

Silver Gavel Awards for Media and The Arts

American Bar Association
1998 Silver Gavel Award Honorable Mentions

Children of the Underground
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mackenzie Carpenter, Staff Writer
Allan Detrich, Photjournalist

This five-part series examines a clandestine but quasi-institutionalized underground network that helps a parent (usually a mother) and her children defy the court system and flee from what they claim (but courts have not found) to be sexual abuse by the other parent.

Unhappy Endings
The San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego, California

This four-part series on San Diego County's family court system shows the workings of the court, examines the role of lawyers and professionals who work there, and proposes solutions for problems. It also looks at the traumatic effects of divorce on families, even years after the couple splits up.

Inside the Supreme Court
Scholastic Update
New York, New York
Steven C. Manning, Editor

A 12-page special report that introduces American high school students to the people and power of the highest court in the land. It analyzes the key issues facing the Court in the 1997 Term and provides personal profiles of the Justices. It concludes with a moot court to help students role-play arguments in a case and gain a deeper understanding of how the Court works.

Cleaning Up: The Story Behind the Biggest Legal Bonanza of Our Time
Free Press Imprint/Simon & Schuster
New York, New York
David Lebedoff, Author

This disturbing parable of our litigious times centers on the Exxon Valdez disaster and the ambitious lawyer who sought out and won the most lucrative civil settlement in history. It provides an anatomy of a civil trial that may have permanently changed the nature of high-stakes damage suits.

No Honorable Mentions were presented in this category in 1998.
Law and Order: "Nullification"
Universal Television/Wolf Films
Universal City, California
Constantine Marks, Director; David Black, Writer; Rene Balcer, Executive Producer

This episode of the TV series aired on NBC. It looks at attempts by would-be militiamen to turn their robbery trial into a showcase for their anti-government beliefs, including a bid to have the jury "nullify" the law in favor of "basic, God-given rights." The trial poses moral and legal dilemmas for prosecutors.

12 Angry Men
Showtime Networks, Inc.
William Friedkin, Director; Reginald Rose, Writer; Terence A. Donnelly, Producer

This is an updating by screenwriter Reginald Rose of his classic 1950s jury deliberation drama. As with the original, it centers on one juror who believes the defendant (here an inner-city youth) is innocent. Deliberations expose the feelings, prejudices, and personal agendas of jurors. Produced for Showtime cable by MGM Worldwide Television.

The Roots of Roe
Connecticut Public TV and the Connecticut Humanities Council
Andrea Haas Hubbell, Producer/Director/Co-writer; Jeremy Brecher, Co-writer

The Roots of Roe is an hour-long documentary history of abortion, contraception, and public policy in the U.S. from colonial times to the present. It examines the first well-documented American abortion case in 1742, the first statute regulating abortion in 1821, federal and state laws barring the sale and use of contraceptives, and cases leading up to Roe v. Wade. It was broadcast nationally by PBS on the 24th anniversary of Roe.

Second Chances
SOUNDPRINT Media Center, Inc.
Laurel, Maryland
Sandra Sleight-Brennan, Producer

Second Chances is the story of an innovative rehabilitation facility in Ohio that gives another chance to kids who have gotten in trouble. The producer recorded staff members, parents, teachers, and the boys themselves. She pays special attention to the facility's newspaper, which gives teens the opportunity to express themselves.

Texas and the Death Penalty
The University of Texas at Austin
Tassos Rigopoulos, Producer/Director

This half-hour video documentary looks both at the roots and evolution of the death penalty in Texas, and at a case that casts doubt on how fairly the penalty is applied. The video was Mr. Rigopoulos's M.F.A. thesis project at the University of Texas.

No Honorable Mentions were awarded in this category in 1998.