Maurice Possley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author who has written about, investigated, and consulted on issues involving criminal justice in the United States and abroad for more than 30 years.
Since 2012, he has been the chief investigator for the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law.
A graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications, Maurice’s baptism into journalism — and the world of crime, courts and justice — was at the legendary City News Bureau in 1970s Chicago. After several years there, he moved on briefly to the Rock Island Argus in western Illinois before returning to Chicago and joining the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times and then, in 1984, the Chicago Tribune. Maurice left the Tribune in August 2008 and began pursuing his investigative work into prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful convictions, and other criminal justice issues in the private sector as a writer and consultant.
Maurice has been a consultant on numerous television and film projects over the years, including the award-winning documentary At The Death House Door by filmmakers Steve James and Peter Gilbert (they of Hoop Dreams fame), the feature-length 2004 documentary Deadline, television programs including Dateline, 60 Minutes, Bill Kurtis’ American Justice on A&E, as well a numerous writing, academic and investigative projects, some of which are still ongoing.
During his nearly-25-year tenure at the Tribune, Maurice worked as a federal courts reporter and then as a deputy metropolitan editor, where he managed a staff of more than 75 reporters and editors. Later he returned to his first love — reporting — as an investigative reporter specializing in criminal justice, where he covered a variety of high-profile criminal cases, including those of Timothy McVeigh, UnabomberTed Kaczynski, and the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
Former Illinois Governor George Ryan cited the Tribune’s reportage as playing a key role in his historic decision to institute a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois in 2000. Ryan cited the work of Maurice and his Tribune colleagues in 2003 when he commuted the death sentences of 167 Death Row inmates to life in prison without parole. In January 2011, the Illinois State legislature voted to repeal the death penalty permanently. In March, 2011, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn signed the bill and Illinois became the 16th state to ban the death penalty in the U.S.
Maurice was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times — once for public service (2000), and twice for national reporting (2001, 2007) — for his work on wrongful convictions and wrongful executions.
In 2008, Maurice was one of two lead members of a team of Tribune reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series of articles on hazardous children’s products that prompted numerous recalls as well as the most comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in the history of that agency.
He is the author of several non-fiction books, including Everybody Pays: Two Men, One Murder and the Price of Truth, The Brown’s Chicken Massacre, and the New York Times best seller Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI’s Story of Courage and Faith. He is co-author with Michael Segal of A Conviction at Any Cost: Prosecutorial Misconduct and the Pursuit of Michael Segal, and his latest book, published in September 2020, is Until I Could Be Sure: How I Ended the Death Penalty in Illinois with former Illinois Governor George H. Ryan, Sr.
Maurice is a sought-after speaker and lecturer who for decades has taught classes at the college and graduate-school level on investigative reporting and criminal-justice-related issues at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, the University of Montana, the University of Alaska, and the University of Michigan School of Law, and the University of California, Irvine. From 2009 to 2012, he was an investigator for the Northern California Innocence Project at the University of Santa Clara’s School of Law.
Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist, photographer, and author of several nonfiction books including the critically acclaimed The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People; Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace; The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, and BELIEBER: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber. She was co-editor of (with Jennifer Grant) and a contributing author to Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful and a Few Scoundrels, and most recently was co-general editor of (with Jenny Eaton Dyer) and a contributing author to The End of Hunger: Renewed Hope for Feeding the World.
A Connecticut native and granddaughter of Italian and Irish immigrants, Cathleen holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University as well as a master’s degree in theological studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern. Cathleen was a 2009 Divinity School Media Fellow at Duke University, a Gralla Fellow in Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, and was the 1996 Stoody-West Fellow in Religious Journalism. She was a member of the 2022 Cohort of the Living School of the Center for Action and Contemplation and is presently studying for certification in spiritual direction through Loyola University's Institute for Pastoral Studies in Chicago.
Cathleen has been a religion journalist for newspapers, wire services, and magazines for more than 25 years. Presently she is a featured writer for Sojourners, where she previously served as Web Editor and Director of New Media for the Sojourners organization and ran its popular God’s Politics blog. She also was a longtime contributing editor and columnist for Sojourners magazine.
(A portfolio of her journalistic work can be found online HERE.)
Since 2015, she also has written regularly for U2.com.
Cathleen was the religion writer and religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times from 2000 to 2010, and has been a longtime correspondent and columnist for Religion News Service. She also has served as the Faith & Values columnist for the Orange County Register. During Cathleen’s busy tenure at the Register, she covered the election and first year of Pope Francis’ pontificate (traveling to Rome for his election and installation in the spring of 2013), the post-AIDS- emergency rebirth in Zambia and Malawi, music, film, comedy, and faith (among many other things.) In addition to (and often complimenting) her work on the religion beat, Cathleen has written extensively about development, health, and justice issues in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, including in-the-field reporting from Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zanzibar, Haiti, and Nepal.
Cathleen's work has appeared in numerous other magazines and newspapers, including Rolling Stone, Christianity Today, Christian Century, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Indianapolis Star Tribune, Toronto Star, Kansas City Star, Dallas Morning News, Madison Capital Times, The Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, The National Catholic Reporter, TIME Magazine, CNN.com, Outrider.org, The Huffington Post, and other publications throughout North America and the United Kingdom. She has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Oprah Winfrey’s “Soul Series,” National Public Radio’s “The Story” and “Weekend Edition,” the BBC World Service, BBC Radio Ulster, Fox News, Moody Radio, WGN-Radio, NPR’s “Day to Day,” The Tavis Smiley Show (on PBS), CBC Radio, the Oneing journal, and many other radio and television programs and podcasts in North America, the UK, and elsewhere.
Cathleen is an experienced public speaker, having presented lectures, talks, and workshops at colleges, universities, seminaries, theological schools, civic organizations, women’s groups, houses of worship, and large literary, faith- based, and artistic gatherings including the the Los Angeles Book Festival, the Ann Arbor Book Festival, Printers Row Literary Festival, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Book Festival, the Festival of Faith and Writing, the Festival of Faith and Music, Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma University, The Chicago Temple, Loyola University in Chicago, Lebowski Fest, Dominican University in Chicago, Sacramento State University, Chicago’s Temple Jeremiah, the Calabash Festival in Jamaica, St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago, Wild Goose Festival, and others.
Cathleen continues to write for various media outlets, but regularly publishes new work (and photography) on her Substack, This Numinous World.