Resource Center

Stories

 

 

 

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



Search results for "FBI testimony" ...

  • The Real CSI

    Evidence collected at crime scenes—everything from fingerprints to bite marks—is routinely called upon in the courtroom to prosecute the most difficult crimes and put the guilty behind bars. And though glamorized on commercial television, in the real world, it’s not so cut-and-dried. A joint investigation by FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley examines the reliability of the science behind forensics in The Real CSI. From the sensational murder trial of Casey Anthony to the credentialing of forensic experts, “The Real CSI” documents how a field with few uniform standards and unproven science can undermine the search for justice. The investigation follows a landmark study by the National Academy of Sciences that called into question the tenets of forensic science. For the first time, Harry T. Edwards, a senior federal appellate court judge and co-chairman of the report, sits for an interview to discuss what the report means. And, FRONTLINE examines one of the most high-profile terrorist investigations since 9/11: the case of Brandon Mayfield, an attorney who was wrongfully identified and arrested as a suspect in the Madrid commuter train bombings after the FBI erroneously matched his fingerprint to a partial print found at the scene. In “The Real CSI,” FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman finds serious flaws in some of the best known tools of forensic science, wide inconsistencies in how forensic evidence is presented in the courtroom and no system in place for establishing the credibility of so-called “forensic experts” whose testimony can lead to a conviction.

    Tags: Terrorism; Forensic science; CSI

    By Raney Aronson-Rath

    PBS Frontline

    2012

  • Forensic Science

    A nine-month investigation found that Justice Department officials had known for years that flawed forensic evidence might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people but had not performed a thorough review of the cases. In addition, prosecutors did not notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled, forcing innocent defendants to stay incarcerated or on parole. The Post identified two District of Columbia men convicted largely on the flawed forensic work and testimony of FBI hair analysts who wrongly placed them at crime scenes. Since the Post report, both men have had their convictions vacated and judges have taken the unusual steps of fully exonerating the men so they can seek compensation from the government. As a result of The Post’s work, the Justice Department is reviewing more than 21,000 FBI Laboratory cases handled before 2000 to identify convictions that might merit exoneration, re-trial or re-testing of evidence.

    Tags: Forensics; FBI; Hair analysis; Exoneration

    By Spencer S. Hsu; Jennifer L. Jenkins; Ted Mellnik

    Washington Post

    2012

  • Silent Injustice

    Through analyzing "thousands of pages of documents" and interviewing "dozens of people," 60 Minutes and the Washington Post found that "there were hundreds of defendants imprisoned, who were convicted with the help of now-discredited forensic tool... The FBI never notified them, their lawyers or the courts that their cases may have been affected by faulty testimony."

    Tags: bullet lead analysis; forensic science; evidence; FBI; courts; chemical signatures; bullets; ammunition;

    By John Solomon; Alice Crites; Madonna Lebling; Jilly Badanes; Laura Stanton; Tanya Ballard; Ira Rosen; Sumi Aggarwal

    Washington Post

    2007

  • Evidence of Injustice

    Through analyzing "thousands of pages of documents" and interviewing "dozens of people," 60 Minutes and the Washington Post found that "there were hundreds of defendants imprisoned, who were convicted with the help of now-discredited forensic tool... The FBI never notified them, their lawyers or the courts that their cases may have been affected by faulty testimony."

    Tags: bullet lead analysis; forensic science; evidence; FBI; courts; chemical signatures; bullets; ammunition; FOIA

    By Steve Kroft; Ira Rosen; Sumi Aggarwal; John Solomon; Matt Richman; Bill Owens; Patti Hassler; Jeff Fager

    CBS News 60 Minutes

    2007

  • "Burning Rage"

    This story covers the rising threat of eco-terrorists in the U.S. In May, 2005, John Lewis, Deputy Director of the FBI, testified on Capitol Hill that domestic terrorism by radical environmental groups such as the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front were the biggest threat to American security. 60 Minutes set out to either prove or disprove Lewis' testimony and found that, indeed, such groups were responsible for a rising number of arson and bomb attacks.

    Tags: Eco-terrorism; domestic terrorism; FBI; ecology; environment; counter-terrorism

    By Ed Bradley;Graham Messick;Michael Karzis;Jeff Fager;Patti Hassler

    CBS News 60 Minutes

    2005

  • Science Casts Doubt on FBI Bullet Evidence

    This story investigated the validity of a forensics technique, comparative lead bullet analysis, that has been used by the FBI crime laboratory since the late 1960's. FBI scientists determine the trace metal profile of a lead slug and then compare bullet profiles. They found there was not a solid scientific backing for this technique and that new research indicates that the conclusions the FBI examiners drew about relationships between were, at best, unwarranted. There was never evidence to conclude that the fact that two bullets share similar trace element profiles means they are in some way connected, and there is now evidence against that conclusion. This is important because the technique is commonly used in murder cases where traditional ballistics cannot be used and, often where there is little evidence.

    Tags: forensics; FBI; crime lab; lead bullet analysis; FBI scientists; lead slug; FBI examiners; American Chemical Society; National Academy of Sciences; bullet lead; fingerprint analysis; Iowa State University; National Research Council; Middlesex County Superior Court; crime scene; FBI testimony; National Research Council; rifling-mark analysis

    By Charles Piller;Robin Mejia

    Center for Investigative Reporting (San Francisco)

    2003

  • Oklahoma Execution

    The AP investigates a forensic scientist being investigated for giving false and misleading testimony in several death penalty cases. Interviewing prosecutors, FBI agents, defense lawyers, forensics experts and members of the executed men's families, the AP found a startling pattern. Among the series findings were a police memo that stated evidence used to convict one of the men did not exist -- slides the scientist testified contained the accused semen actually contained nothing at all.

    Tags: death row; execution; death penalty; forensic evidence

    By Deborah Hastings

    Associated Press

    2001

  • The Devil to Pay

    Inquirer Magazine looks at the prosecution tactics against organized crime leaders. "Going easy on a low-level wise guy to get testimony against the bigger fish in an organization is a time-honored tactic of law enforcement." Prosecutors say 'the question is where can you do the most damage to the organization.' But critics of this theory argue that mobsters get off too easy and are not being held accountable for their own actions. "The government has crossed the line in seeking cooperators and in making them offers they can't refuse . . . overzealous FBI agents and federal prosecutors too often equate winning with justice." Inquirer Magazine looks at this issue and provides detailed examples to illustrate both opinions.

    Tags: mobs; Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; mob bosses; organized crime; Mafia

    By George Anastasia

    Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine

    2001

  • Whitey and the FBI

    Using previously secret documents, extensive interviews and court testimony, the Boston Globe examines the relationship between gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, brother of the state Senate president, and the FBI. The five-part series looks at how the deal was made, whom it benefited and why it went terribly wrong, leaving the FBI battered by revelations of bribery and tipoffs.

    Tags: Mob DEA Informants

    By Gerard O'Neill Shelley Murphy Mitch Zuckoff Richard Lehr

    Boston Globe

    1998