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Stories Examining Crime And Justice Garner Pulitzers, Including Two By Small Chicago Non-Profit

A number of stories touching on the criminal legal system won Pulitzer Prizes on Monday. The Washington Post won the prize for national reporting for its series on the rise of the AR-15 in America and its role in mass shootings. A story by Sarah Stillman in the New Yorker examining the felony-murder doctrine — which allows people to be charged with murders that they did not personally commit — won in the explanatory journalism category.  An investigation into conflicts of interest at the United States Supreme Court by ProPublica won in the public service category. The Pulitzer board described the series as “groundbreaking and ambitious reporting that pierced the thick wall of secrecy surrounding the Supreme Court to reveal how a small group of politically influential billionaires wooed justices with lavish gifts and travel, pushing the Court to adopt its first code of conduct.”  

The Invisible Institute, a small non-profit newsroom in Chicago, also brought home two Pulitzers touching on the criminal justice system. One was in the local reporting category, in a collaboration with City Bureau that investigated Chicago police handling of missing person cases and the “disproportionate impact on Black women and girls, how police have mistreated family members or delayed cases, and how poor police data is making the problem harder to solve.” The Invisible Institute also won for a podcast in collaboration with USG Audio called “You Didn’t See Nothin” which examines a hate-crime from the 1990’s. The Pulitzer Board called it “a fluid amalgam of memoir, community history and journalism.”


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