Brandi Grissom Managing Editor

Brandi Grissom is The Texas Tribune's managing editor and joined the staff when the online publication launched in 2009. In addition to editing duties, Grissom leads the Tribune's coverage of criminal justice issues. During her tenure at the Tribune, she was chosen as a 2012 City University of New York Center on Media, Crime and Justice/H.F. Guggenheim Journalism Fellow and was a fellow at the 2012 Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Grissom, along with Tribune multimedia producer Justin Dehn, received a 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting for work on the case of Megan Winfrey, who was acquitted of murder in February 2013 after the Trib’s coverage brought statewide attention the case. Grissom joined the Tribune after four years at the El Paso Times, where she acted as a one-woman Capitol bureau. Grissom won the Associated Press Managing Editors First-Place Award in 2007 for using the Freedom of Information Act to report stories on a variety of government programs and entities, and the ACLU of Texas named her legislative reporter of the year in 2007 for her immigration reporting. She previously served as managing editor at The Daily Texan and has worked for the Alliance Times-Herald, the Taylor Daily Press, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung and The Associated Press. A native of Alliance, Neb., she has a degree in history from the University of Texas.

Recent Contributions

Willingham Won't Get Posthumous Pardon

September 17, 2010 - Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.
September 17, 2010 - Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

UPDATED: The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has voted not to recommend a posthumous full pardon for Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed a decade ago after being convicted of setting a fire that killed his daughters. 

 

Town's Stance on Famed Convict Changes Over 15 Years

Bernhardt Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on February 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.
Bernhardt Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on February 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

When Bernie Tiede went to trial in 1999 for murdering a wealthy Carthage widow, many in the town wanted the young man to see a light punishment. But 15 years into his life sentence, many now say prison is where he belongs. 

Court Reverses DNA Testing Decision in Swearingen Case

Death row inmate Larry Swearingen during an interview at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Melissa Trotter. He says he is innocent and that she was killed while he was already in jail for other offenses.
Death row inmate Larry Swearingen during an interview at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Melissa Trotter. He says he is innocent and that she was killed while he was already in jail for other offenses.

UPDATED: The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s decision to allow further DNA testing in the case of death row inmate Larry Swearingen, sending his case back to a district court.

Considering the Toll of War in a Death Penalty Debate

Dennis and Patty Thuesen look through photos of their son John from his childhood and his service in the military. John, an Iraq war veteran, is appealing his death sentence for the murders of his girlfriend and her brother, Rachel and Travis Joiner, claiming that lawyers at his original trial did not adequately inform jurors about his PTSD.
Dennis and Patty Thuesen look through photos of their son John from his childhood and his service in the military. John, an Iraq war veteran, is appealing his death sentence for the murders of his girlfriend and her brother, Rachel and Travis Joiner, claiming that lawyers at his original trial did not adequately inform jurors about his PTSD.

Lawyers for Iraq War veteran John Thuesen are appealing the former Marine's death sentence for a double murder, arguing that his original trial lawyers didn't adequately explain the post-traumatic stress that Thuesen had suffered.

Prosecutors Prepare to Open Their Files

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.
Texas Weekly

As 2014 approaches, Texas district and county attorneys are preparing to implement a new law that aims to prevent wrongful convictions by requiring prosecutors to open their files to defense lawyers.