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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.