The Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday, and among the winners was the Futuro Media and PRX team behind the seven-part podcast series “Suave” that follows acclaimed journalist Maria Hinojosa’s decades-long friendship with David Luis “Suave” Gonzalez, who received a life sentence without parole at the age of 17 for first-degree homicide. Gonzalez met Hinojosa in 1993, and they continued to stay in touch through letters, visits, and phone calls that Hinojosa recorded, eventually forming the foundation of the podcast. The series chronicles Gonzalez’s journey as he is eventually given the opportunity to experience life on the outside for the first time as an adult, after the 2016 Supreme Court ruling that mandatory sentences of life without parole on juveniles are unconstitutional. “Here is a stranger telling me, a lifer, that I could be the voice for the voiceless. I was lit,” Gonzalez said when he spoke to Democracy Now! in 2021 when the series was first released. Hinojosa credited the success of the podcast to their open and honest relationship. “Suave and I were just very real with each other, over decades,” she said. “I never imagined that it would end up being a podcast that is getting this amount of attention.” Hinojosa founded Futuro Media in 2010 and said Monday that it is now “leaving its mark in American history.”
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