Silver Gavel Awards Help Teach Public about Legal System

What It Should Be

On June 30, Adnan Syed received a new trial after serving 16 years in prison for a murder he claims he did not commit. New trials aren’t generally national news. This one, however, was the top story around the country. Why? Because Adnan Syed is the star of the incredibly popular first season of the podcast “Serial.”

Reporter Sarah Koenig did a yeoman’s job in investigating and ultimately revealing the strong possibility that, regardless of guilt or innocence, Syed had not received a fair trial. Thanks to her work, “Serial” went on to shine a light on a possible injustice and win some well-deserved awards.

You may be familiar with some of the awards the production won, including a Peabody. You may be less familiar with others, including one that all lawyers should know about, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Awards.

Every year, the awards honor publications and programs that educate the public about the U.S. Constitution, the justice system and how lawyers work in and with both. Last year, “Serial” won a Silver Gavel.

So too did a book on ending juvenile prison sentences, a documentary on California Proposition 8 and a newspaper series on domestic violence in South Carolina.

READ MORE  Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Volume 162, No. 136  July 13,2016

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