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Extra Extra Monday: Prosecutorial misconduct, Hollywood sting, nuclear waste lands, private prisons

Prosecutorial misconduct alleged in half of capital cases |  The Arizona Republic
In half of all capital cases in Arizona since 2002, prosecutorial misconduct was alleged by appellate attorneys. Those allegations ranged in seriousness from being over emotional to encouraging perjury. Nearly half those allegations were validated by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Hollywood Sting | Al Jazeera America
FBI investigation of a California political dynasty uncovers alleged bribery and corruption in the shadows of Tinseltown

Special report: Addicted nurses keep licenses | The Star Tribune
Some nurses continue to steal narcotics or practice while impaired under state monitoring that’s supposed to stop them.

Law to keep ammonium nitrate facilities secure may put Texans at risk | Dallas Morning News
An investigation by The Dallas Morning News also found that a state law designed to keep ammonium nitrate secured from would-be terrorists sets a lax standard for keeping Texans safe. According to the state agency charged with enforcing the 2007 law, it has acted only once to temporarily bar a facility from selling ammonium nitrate that had recurring problems.

Breathless and Burdened | The Center for Public Integrity
This yearlong investigation examines how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, have helped defeat the benefits claims of miners sick and dying of black lung, even as disease rates are on the rise and an increasing number of miners are turning to a system that was supposed to help alleviate their suffering.

Waste Lands: America’s forgotten nuclear legacy | The Wall Street Journal
The Department of Energy says it has protected the public health, and studies about radiation harm aren’t definitive. But with the government's own records about many of the sites unclear, the Journal has compiled a database that draws on thousands of public records and other sources to trace this historic atomic development effort and its consequences.

California agencies gamble on pension bonds to cover debts – and lose | Center for Investigative Reporting
“Some public officials and investment bankers have portrayed pension obligation bonds as a good way to shore up pension funds … But that gamble is not panning out so far for at least five pension obligation bonds issued by California public agencies between 1999 and January, an analysis by The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.”

Hidden priests, secret pasts: Church silent about where it houses credibly accused clerics | the Star-Ledger
“Cheplic, who has denied the allegations, is one of at least seven alleged sexual predators quietly placed in the Rutherford retirement home in the past decade, The Star-Ledger found. Some lived there a short time. Others have stayed for years. Neighbors said they were never informed of the men’s presence until told by a reporter.”

3-month-old's death didn't shut down unlicensed home day care | The Indianapolis Star
“Seven months after Coree Carmichael died, state agency in charge of enforcing laws showed up - and the day care is still operating”

Private Prisons: Profit, Politics, Pain | The Palm Beach Post
“Patterns of rape, riots and squalor are found in lockups. Some incidents are tied to too few and often inexperienced guards. Some examples: An inmate left alone in horticulture class attacks another with a chunk of concrete. One inmate was so poorly fed, he ate crumbs off the floor.”

Agencies can’t always tell who’s dead and who’s not, so benefit checks keep coming | The Washington Post
“In the past few years, Social Security paid $133 million to beneficiaries who were deceased. The federal employee retirement system paid more than $400 million to retirees who had passed away. And an aid program spent $3.9 million in federal money to pay heating and air-conditioning bills for more than 11,000 of the dead.”

Special Report: Help wanted in Fukushima: Low pay, high risks and gangsters | Reuters
“In reviewing Fukushima working conditions, Reuters interviewed more than 80 workers, employers and officials involved in the unprecedented nuclear clean-up. A common complaint: the project's dependence on a sprawling and little scrutinized network of subcontractors - many of them inexperienced with nuclear work and some of them, police say, have ties to organized crime.”

Officers facing discipline claim disability for big cost to Milwaukee | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“As the district attorney investigated him for allegedly beating a handcuffed suspect, Milwaukee Police Detective Rodolfo Gomez Jr. applied for duty disability retirement, saying stress had left him unable to do his job, the Journal Sentinel has learned.”

Hospitals Spend Small Fractions of Revenue on Charity Care | Oklahoma Watch
“Despite a congressman’s recent assurance that many hospitals “do the work for free,” Oklahoma’s hospitals spend less than 3 percent of their net patient revenues on charity care on average, records show.”

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