The National Registry of Exonerations
In December 2011, Maurice began working as a researcher and writer for the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law (link). The Registry, overseen by Michigan Law Professor Samuel Gross and Rob Warden, executive director of Northwestern’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, is an up to date list of all known exonerations in the United States since 1989. It is the largest database of false convictions in the United States ever compiled.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice Center on Media, Crime and Justice
Maurice began working as a project coordinator for The Center on Media, Crime and Justice, housed at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) in 2010. He coordinated a series of investigative reports for The Crime Report in 2011 on gun violence in the Midwest and in 2012 coordinated a symposium on pretrial jail release/detention programs (Jailed Without Conviction: Pretrial Detention — The Clash between Due Process and Public Safety).
The Center on Media Crime and Justice is the nation’s only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st-century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. The provides a non-partisan forum for discussion, networking and information-sharing between the media and the criminal justice community both in the U.S. and abroad, including academics, practitioners and non-government organizations.
The Center operates in partnership with: Criminal Justice Journalists (CJJ), the only U.S. association of working crime and justice reporters; the Institute for Justice and Journalism (IJJ) at USC Annenberg School for Communication; and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York. The center also collaborates with other specialist academic centers at John Jay as well as professional media and criminal justice organizations around the U.S.
The Northern California Innocence Project
The Northern California Innocence Project is a non-profit law clinic based at Santa Clara University Law School in northern California. Its work is focused on exonerating the wrongly convicted.
From August 2009 until November 2011, Maurice was a visiting research fellow at the NCIP and conducted an unprecedented statewide investigation of prosecutorial misconduct in California from 1997 through 2009, the findings of which were published in October of 2010 and are available at www.veritasinitiative.org. A report for 2010 is also available.
The NCIP has helped exonerate a number of wrongfully convicted men and women, including John Stoll, imprisoned for more than 20 years as part of a notorious case of an alleged ring of child molesters in Bakersfield, Calif. The story of Stoll’s incarceration and release, as well as those of a half-dozen other wrongfully accused and imprisoned parents from Bakersfield, is retold in the documentary film, “Witch Hunt,” narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, Sean Penn.
Hitler in the Crosshairs
In the tradition of Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers comes this powerful, previously untold story — Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI’s Story of Courage and Faith.
This nonfiction book, Maurice’s third, chronicles the life, struggles and faith of a courageous young American soldier fighting in World War II, the attempted capture of Adolph Hitler, and the subsequent saga of the dictator’s pistol.
Co-authored by John Woodbridge, a theology professor whose late father, a pastor, knew the book’s protagonist, Teen Palm, personally, Hitler in the Crosshairs has been bought by the publishing giant Zondervan and is expected to be released in 2011.
Everybody Pays: The Feature Film
This is the story of Bob Lowe, an average Joe from working-class Chicago who, by chance (or bad luck), witnessed his neighbor gunned down in his front yard and came face-to-face with Harry Aleman —perhaps the most notorious hitman in Chicago mob history.
For more than 25 years, Lowe and Aleman’s lives were intertwined after Lowe agreed to be a witness for the prosecution. But Aleman’s murder trial was fixed. He walked free, while Lowe and his family went into hiding for more than two decades. That is until 1997, when Aleman was retried — the first time in U.S. history that someone acquitted of a murder was put on trial again for the same murder. It happened because prosecutors were able to prove that the first trial had been fixed. Lowe had to decide: Would he risk doing the “right thing” again or stay in hiding out of harm’s way.
Lowe was the subject of Maurice’s first book, Everybody Pays, and is now the subject of a feature-film project in development. Maurice is a consultant for the film. The film rights were owned by producer Beth O’Neil of Olfactory Productions, with screenwriter Neil Tolkin attached, through 2010.
The film rights for Everybody Pays are currently available for purchase. For inquiries, please contact Maurice’s film agent, Steve Fisher, at email@example.com.