The Authors

The Authors

Martin Clancy and Tim O’Brien are both veterans of ABC News, Clancy as a producer and writer and O’Brien as the network’s longtime Law Correspondent.  They have each reported on capital punishment for more than 30 years, interviewing witnesses, detectives, jurors, murderers, judges and Supreme Court Justices. They have visited Death Rows from Angola to Walla Walla, and have been inside more execution chambers than most prison wardens.

Their journalism has earned each a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association,the Dupont-Columbia Award for excellence, and several national Emmys.  O’Brien, a lawyer, has served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at four law schools and lectures frequently on the Supreme Court and legal issues.  Clancy, a recipient of many awards for his investigative work, is perhaps best known for his partnership with Barbara Walters in producing marquee  interviews with Presidents (eight), heads of state, and controversial newsmakers ranging from Monica Lewinsky to the Menendez brothers.

Both authors have writing credits beyond their work for ABC.  Clancy’s run the ideological gamut, from writing documentaries with Bill Moyers for PBS, to crafting John Stossel’s best-selling 2006 book for Hyperion, Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity.  O’Brien has also written for PBS, as well as for several law journals and The Saturday Review, and has contributed to the Op-Ed pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times.


Martin Clancy

Martin Clancy

Martin Clancy is a journalist known for his ability to handle tough subjects, tight deadlines and dynamic personalities.  He is a writer, producer and director whose work has earned five national Emmys, the Dupont-Columbia Award, and the George Polk Award, among other honors.

At ABC News, Clancy forged a powerful 30-year partnership with Barbara Walters.  The two have aired interviews with eight Presidents, and have profiled subjects as diverse as Monica Lewinsky, Vladimir Putin, Boris Yeltsin, Jiang Zemin, Hillary Clinton, Muammar Qaddafi, Fidel Castro, Mike Wallace, and the Prince of Wales.  He and Walters have produced highly-acclaimed special broadcasts on topics ranging from the business of adoption to the inside intrigues of Saudi Arabia.  Says Walters of Clancy: “He’s simply the best.”

Clancy has also worked with Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson, Peter Jennings and a full range of correspondents at ABC News.  He has written for figures so ideologically diverse as Bill Moyers and John Stossel. In 2006, he crafted Stossel’s Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity for ABCs’ partner publisher, Hyperion. The book was on the New York Times best-seller list for 12 weeks.

Clancy has been closely involved in special coverage for ABC ranging from election nights to the attacks of 9-11; has served in management as a Senior Producer and Executive Producer; and has participated in the design and buildout of the news division’s digital platforms.

An investigative report into the causes of an AMTRAK crash earned Clancy the Barone Award of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association, as well as an Emmy Award.  His other investigative topics have included the roots of the U.S.S. Iowa disaster, problems with the Trident submarine project, the perils of government whistle-blowing, and the secrets of a mysterious community of cult-like Catholic nuns.

Prior to joining ABC, Clancy was with CBS News as the Washington producer of the CBS MORNING NEWS and a founding producer of the weekly program, SUNDAY MORNING with Charles Kuralt.

Clancy spent six years in public television, producing Special Events broadcasts, documentaries, and the series, BILL MOYERS’ JOURNAL.  He and Moyers found themselves covering stories as varied as elections in Vietnam and the plight of migrant farm workers in Florida.  Clancy produced the landmark Moyers documentaries, “An Essay on Watergate,” and “A Question of Impeachment.”  Moyers describes him as “a genius at using the techniques of television to penetrate to the reality that lies behind a politician’s façade.”

Also at PBS, Clancy was Executive Producer of public television’s gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Watergate hearings and of the 1972 political conventions.




Tim O'Brien

Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien is an attorney and an award winning journalist whose achievements include covering the U.S. Supreme Court for ABC News for more than twenty-two years. He is a recognized expert on the Court, its Justices and on the development of a generation of constitutional law.

O’Brien’s reporting has received the highest accolades of both the legal and journalism professions.  The National Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded Mr. O’Brien an Emmy for his contributions to CNN’s coverage of the September 11th terrorism attacks.  His television documentaries on the criminal justice system received the American Bar Association’s highest award (The Silver Gavel Award) as well as a Columbia-DuPont Award for Excellence in journalism. He also received a Columbia-DuPont Award for Human Rights Reporting for “Escape From Justice—Nazi War Criminals in America,” an ABC News documentary.

O’Brien’s reporting on the death penalty and alternative dispute resolution have also been recognized by the American Bar Association for journalism excellence.  He is currently  a contributing correspondent to the PBS Broadcast, “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.”   His opinions on issues ranging from the death penalty to broadcast coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court have appeared on the Op Ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major newspapers around the U.S.

O’Brien is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the U.S.  Active in the Washington legal community, he is an elected  member of the American Law Institute, a former Director of the American Judicature Society and a current board member of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.

O’Brien is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and has held similar positions at Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans (2003, 2005), St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami (2001) and Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, NY. (2000)

He is a “Distinguished Alumnus” of Michigan State University and a member of the Board of Visitors of the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans. A frequent lecturer on the Supreme Court and legal issues generally, he was the keynote speaker at the D.C. Judicial Circuit Conference for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia meeting at Williamsburg, Virginia in 2002.   In 2009, he was the keynote speaker for annual meetings of the state bar associations of Michigan and Kentucky.