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The Dallas Morning News Names Christopher Scott and Michael Morton as Texans of the Year

DALLAS, Dec. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Morning News has named Michael Morton and Christopher Scott as the Dallas Morning News 2012 Texans of the Year, culminating an editorial series that began on December 18. These falsely accused Texans, who served a combined 37 years in prison for murders they did not commit, are now using their freedom and fame to fix the flawed justice system and to help end the state's record of wrongful convictions.

As noted in an editorial in Sunday's newspaper, "Rare is the man who emerges from [wrongful imprisonment] without bitterness and a hunger for revenge against those who wronged him. Then there are the temptations that come with huge compensation checks from the state.  … The opportunities for bad choices are too many to count. Some resist all that and choose a higher path."

The full text of the editorial appears in Sunday's paper and is posted at dallasnews.com/toy. Readers can share their thoughts by commenting on the editorial and watch a video on why the newspaper picked Morton and Scott as their Texans of the Year.

Sunday's editorial culminated a 10-part series that named the following finalists: Nicole Small, the driving force behind Dallas' new Perot Museum of Nature and Science; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, rising political star who led the campaign for a citywide tax for pre-K education; the 2011-2012 Baylor Lady Bears basketball team, for its undefeated and record-setting season; Houston public charter school YES Prep, honored with the inaugural Broad Foundation prize for charter schools; Brett Giroir, visionary at Texas A&M who was key to landing a new federal bio-threat center; Ted Cruz, the rising political force and U.S. senator-elect; Cecile Richards, women's health champion and chief executive of Planned Parenthood; Jason Roberts of Dallas, founder of the "Better Block" demonstration project who is galvanizing communities nationally to revive their neighborhoods; and Lance Armstrong, disgraced cycling champion and cancer-fighting icon.

Now in its tenth year, the Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year series draws from reader nominations to the newspaper's Editorial Board. Criteria call for "a Texan (or Texans) who has had uncommon impact – positive or negative – over the past year." The Editorial Board selected the finalists and winners through an internal vote.

"The editorial board received hundreds of thought-provoking nominations this year, and it was a challenge to select only 10," said Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News. "I'm delighted to announce this year's compelling and varied finalists, as I'm certain our readers will agree with the merit of each."

Recent Dallas Morning News Texans of the Year include:

  • 2011: Admiral Bill McRaven (for his service as commander of the special operations raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden)
  • 2010: Texas governor Rick Perry (for his peerless political instincts that led to an unprecedented third term as Texas governor and catapulted him onto the national stage)
  • 2009: The Heroes of Fort Hood (recognizing those caught up in the terror of a mass shooting, extended to include all Fort Hood-based military people and their families)
  • 2008: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins (for his dedication to reversing cases of injustice)

For more information or to schedule an interview with Keven Ann Willey or editorial writer and project editor Rodger Jones, please contact Stephanie Hoefken at 214-891-7693 or stephanie_hoefken@richards.com.

About The Dallas Morning News
Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News (dallasnews.com) is Texas' leading newspaper and the flagship newspaper subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation. It has received nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. Its portfolio of print and digital products reaches an average daily audience of more than 1.1 million people and includes online news and information sites; iPhone, Android and iPad apps; Al Día (www.aldiatx.com), the leading Spanish-language daily in North Texas; neighborsgo (neighborsgo.com), a consumer-generated community news outlet; and Briefing, the free, home-delivered quick-read. To advertisers, the portfolio of products is represented by DMNmedia (www.DMNmedia.com), the marketing solutions group of The Dallas Morning News, Inc.

SOURCE The Dallas Morning News

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