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Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Metro Times, and Sterling Heights Television Lead State Bar's 2007 McCree Award Winners
4/4/07

Journalists from the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, Metro Times, and Sterling Heights Television won top honors in the State Bar of Michigan 33rd Annual Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice. The awards are presented annually to foster greater public understanding of the legal and judicial system.

Detroit Free Press editorial writer and columnist Jeff Gerritt, Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette, and Detroit News journalist Ronald J. Hansen are the top winners in the print category. Gerritt was honored for “Neglect in Custody,” a year-long investigative series of editorials, columns, and news articles exposing problems with the health care system in Michigan state prisons and recommending ways to fix them. Guyette’s article and editorial piece focused on a Wayne County judge and assistant prosecutor accused of committing a felony by allowing perjured testimony to be presented to a jury in the trials of two alleged drug dealers. Hansen provided continuing coverage of the Patrick Selepak case, in which prison employees mistakenly paroled the felon, who then went on a crime spree that left three people dead.

The broadcast category winners are Charlie Langton and Matt Phillips for their work on an installment of the public affairs program Legally Speaking that featured an in-depth interview with Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. Legally Speaking, a co-production of the Macomb County Bar Association and Sterling Heights Television, is sponsored by a grant from the Macomb County Bar Foundation.

Journalists earning honorable mention status this year are Michigan Lawyers Weekly editor Todd C. Berg and Booth Newspapers reporter Judy Putnam. Berg is recognized for “Fightin’ Words,” an in-depth exploration of the roots of the rift that has evolved among Michigan’s Supreme Court justices. Putnam’s report, “Life Becomes Death,” shed light on the changing definition of a life sentence and the Michigan Parole Board’s practice of paroling fewer and fewer inmates serving life sentences.

The McCree Awards will be presented during the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, April 14 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.

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State Bar of Michigan
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Lansing, MI 48933-2012
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