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

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.

Year in Review: Criminal Justice

Fallout from the high-profile Michael Morton exoneration along with more prison closures and growing concerns about the mentally ill in Texas prisons dominated criminal justice headlines in 2013.

 

If the Sun Salutation Has to Fit Into a Cell

An inmate practices meditation during a yoga session at the Powledge prison unit in Palestine on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.
An inmate practices meditation during a yoga session at the Powledge prison unit in Palestine on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

An Austin lawyer turned yogi hopes to make yoga commonplace behind bars in Texas. But financial and administrative challenges lie ahead. 

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. 

 

Court May Clarify Rule on Impairment, Death Penalty

The death row file for Marvin Wilson, who was executed in 2012 for the 1992 murder of Jerry Robert Williams of Beaumont. Wilson's lawyers argued that he was mentally retarded and unfit for execution.
The death row file for Marvin Wilson, who was executed in 2012 for the 1992 murder of Jerry Robert Williams of Beaumont. Wilson's lawyers argued that he was mentally retarded and unfit for execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of a Florida death row inmate — who claims he does not have the mental capacity to face execution — could provide more guidance to states like Texas.

Van de Putte Will Announce Future Plans on Nov. 23

Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, gestures during a dicsussion of her future plans at TribFest closing session on September 29, 2013.
Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, gestures during a dicsussion of her future plans at TribFest closing session on September 29, 2013.

As promised, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said  she would make a formal annoncement about her future plans on Nov. 23 in an email sent to supporters Friday. She is expected to run for lieutenant governor.

 

 

Lawmaker Delays Leave Facility for Mentally Ill Youths in Limbo

An empty cell at a state a juvenile correctional facility.
An empty cell at a state a juvenile correctional facility.

Months after lawmakers cut millions of dollars in funding for the state juvenile justice department and ordered the closure of a detention facility, movement to shutter a Corsicana facility for mentally ill youths remains stalled as state leaders reconsider its demise.