Longreads Best of 2013: Most Urgent Story, Award for Outstanding Reporting

newyorker-cover

Taken

Sarah Stillman | The New Yorker | August 2013 | 45 minutes (11,405 words)

Raphael Pope-Sussman (@AudacityofPope) is the managing editor of News Genius and a founding co-editor of BKLYNR.

Sarah Stillman’s story describes the use of civil forfeiture, a process by which the state can confiscate individuals’ assets with no due process. I chose this story because it sheds light on a fundamental injustice in our judicial system—one of many ways in which this system has been perverted to deny of basic rights and disenfranchise those who lack substantial financial or social capital. And it’s beautifully told. You can’t ask for more in a long-form story.

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Eva Holland (@evaholland) is a freelance writer and editor based in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

I continue to be amazed by Sarah Stillman’s reporting. In “Taken,” she tackles civil forfeiture, an obscure and seemingly dry legal loophole that has enormous implications for police abuse. The story is thorough and compelling, and left me feeling, suddenly, like a topic I’d never heard of before I sat down to read it was an urgent matter, a serious public concern. That’s journalism at its best.

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