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Kansas City PBS Wins National Award for ‘Justice Deferred’

American Judges Association Gavel Award

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Above image credit: Nick Haines explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the court system on "Justice Deferred," tonight on Kansas City PBS. ( John McGrath | Flatland)

Kansas City PBS has announced that a “Kansas City Week in Review” special, “Justice Deferred,” has been named the recipient of the American Judges Association’s 2022 Gavel Award.

The Gavel Award recognizes legal journalism at its best and highlights the importance of journalism in educating the public about the legal system and the fundamental principles and values upon which that system is based.

“We are honored that the American Judges Association has chosen to recognize the great work of our station and executive producer Nick Haines,” said Kliff Kuehl, president & CEO of Kansas City PBS. “‘Justice Deferred’ is a perfect example of the ability of public media to bring to light untold stories that impact our communities. Congratulations to Nick and all who worked on this Week in Review special.”

“Justice Deferred” focused on the logistical issues of carrying out jury trials during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. For much of 2020, courtrooms went quiet, there were barely any criminal jury trials anywhere in the country because court officials were concerned about social distancing and safety for jurors. Hundreds of defendants sat in jail cells, uncertain when a jury of their peers would decide their fate. Hosted by Haines, this special program convened citizens and justice workers to discuss their concerns and a path forward.

“I am truly grateful to the American Judges Association for this honor,” said Haines. “We tell these stories because they are important — and for that importance to be recognized means the world. A special thanks to the District Court in Johnson County and the Johnson County Bar Association for partnering with us to make ‘Justice Deferred’ happen.”

The award will be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, during AJA’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Watch ‘Justice Deferred’


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