July 28, 2017
Herald-Tribune reporters Emily Le Coz and Josh Salman received the “L. Clayton Nance Award” on Thursday from the Florida Public Defender Association for their “Bias on the Bench” series, which found judges throughout Florida sentence black defendants to harsher punishments than whites charged with the same crimes under similar circumstances.
The award honors people who have “made significant improvement to the furtherance of justice in the state of Florida” who are not public defenders.
Past winners have included former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, U. S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, five chief justices of the Florida Supreme Court — Gerald Kogan, Raymond Ehrlich, James C. Adkins, B.K. Roberts and Richard M. Ervin — and two Florida governors, C. Farris Bryant and LeRoy Collins.
“Emily Le Coz and Josh Salman have contributed to the improvement of the criminal justice system by revealing in statistical detail racial disparity in sentencing in Florida,” said Public Defender Mike Graves of the 5th Circuit in presenting the award on behalf of the 1,555 Florida public defenders.