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

Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:14pm EST

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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 NewsTexans 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. Ithas 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


Stephanie Hoefken, +1-214-891-7693, stephanie_hoefken@richards.com
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