12 Months, 12 Pictures, 12 Stories: March

Gov. Quinn brings the age of the death penalty to a close, representing a long-fought-for victory for activists and a tremendous amount of work by the city’s best journalists.

Three days after Pat Quinn repealed the state’s death penalty, Nancy Stone took this picture of flowers thrown from the Darrow Bridge in honor of the late Clarence Darrow, the legendary lawyer and opponent of the death penalty. It was years in the making, led by activists as well as journalists like Steve Mills (who co-wrote a stunning investigative series on the state’s flawed capital-punishment system for the Tribune over a decade before) and David Protess. One excellent read on it is John Conroy’s 2000 Reader piece on Madison Hobley, because it ties together two of the year’s big stories—the repeal of the death penalty and the sentencing of Jon Burge—and because of its lede:

Madison Hobley is on death row because he had an affair.

Photograph: Chicago Tribune

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