One of Graves’s defense attorneys, Katherine Scardino, said that while the article alone would be unlikely to persuade Siegler to dismiss the case, “it might have given her some substance to begin a very detailed, professional, competent, efficient investigation.”

This LAUREL goes to Nicole Cásarez, who investigated this story over eight years, and to Pamela Colloff, who deftly translated the facts into a compelling narrative for a wider audience. In a press conference after Graves’s release, a reporter asked Graves, now forty-five, what he wanted to say to the world. He thought for a minute, and then said, “Never give up. Stand for what you believe in, and try to make change. Because in the end, it helps us all.”

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner