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2020 Gavel Award Winners

Recognizing Outstanding Efforts to Foster Public Understanding of Law



“Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration”
Emily Bazelon, author
Penguin Random House


“Debtors Prison”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Marcia Koenig, metro editor
Tony Messenger, metro columnist


Personhood Documentary, LLC
Tandybrook Films and Wanderhouse
Jo Ardinger, director, producer, writer, editor
Rosalie Miller, producer
Marc Pingry, director of photography
Stefan Hajek, consulting producer

Drama & Literature

“Just Mercy”
Warner Bros. Pictures with Endeavor Content, One Community, Participant, Macro, Netter Productions, and Outlier Society
Destin Daniel Cretton, director and writer
Gil Netter, producer
Asher Goldstein, producer


“Hidden Injustice”
Dan Levine, Lisa Girion, Benjamin Lesser
Jaimi Dowdell, and Michelle Conlin


“In The Dark: Season Two-The Path Home”
American Public Media
Madeleine Baran, host and lead reporter
Samara Freemark, senior reporter
Natalie Jablonski, producer
Parker Yesko, reporter
Rehman Tungekar, associate producer
Will Craft, data reporter



“No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us”
Rachel Louise Snyder, author
Bloomsbury Publishing


“Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066”
JJML Productions LLC
Jon Osaki, director, producer, and editor
Lauren Kawana, consulting producer


“True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”
HBO and Kunhardt Films
George Kunhardt, Peter Kunhardt, and Teddy Kunhardt, directors and producers
Maya Mumma, editor and producer


“Broken Justice”
PBS NewsHour
Amna Nawaz, host
Frank Carlson, reporter
Vika Aronson, podcast producer
Erica R. Hendry and Emily Carpeaux, editors


“The Feeling of Being Watched”
POV | American Documentary and Multitude Films
Assia Boundaoui, director and producer
Jessica Devaney, producer
Rabab Haj Yahya, editor
Shuling Yong, director of photography
Justine Nagan and Chris White, executive producers



“A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo”
Peter Jan Honigsberg, author
Beacon Press

“Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness”
Jennifer Berry Hawes, author
St. Martin’s Publishing Group

“Outbreak: Foodborne Illness and the Struggle for Food Safety”
Timothy D. Lytton, author
The University of Chicago Press

“The Trials of Allegiance: Treason, Juries, and the American Revolution”
Carlton F.W. Larson, author
Oxford University Press


“An American Black Site”
Type Media Center and The Nation
Aviva Stahl, freelance journalist


“Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation”
Auburn University and Backstory Educational Media
Steven Brown, professor of political science
Phillip Ratliff, founder and principal


“Crack vs. Heroin: An unfair system arrested millions of blacks, urged compassion for whites”
Asbury Park Press
Paul D’Ambrosio, executive editor
Shannon Mullen, Austin Bogues, and Andrew Goudsward, staff writers
Lisa Kruse, breaking news editor


“Pardon Me”
Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Michael Schiller, creative director
Taki Telonidis, senior supervising editor
Al Letson, radio show host
Anna Hamilton, segment producer
Kevin Sullivan, executive producer

“Unprecedented Season 1 – A Thousand Ways to Kill You”WAMU
Michael Vuolo and Matthew Schwartz, hosts and writers
Poncie Rutsch, senior producer, podcasts
Andi McDaniel, senior director, content & news
Ben Privot, audio engineer & sound designer

“Blowin’ Up”
POV | American Documentary and Once in a Blue Films
Stephanie Wang-Breal, director
Carrie Weprin, producer
Jonathan Oppenheim, editor
Erik Shirai, director of photography
Justine Nagan and Chris White, executive producers
“60 Minutes: "This is No Ordinary Lawsuit”
CBS News
Steve Kroft, correspondent
Draggan Mihailovich, producer
Katie Brennan and Chrissy Jones, associate producers
Warren Lustig, editor

“60 Minutes: Know My Name”
CBS News
Bill Whitaker, correspondent
Graham Messick and Jack Weingart, producers
Matthew Lev, editor