Death by Deadline | The Marshall Project

An investigation by The Marshall Project shows that since President Bill Clinton signed the one-year statute of limitations into law – enacting a tough-on-crime provision that emerged in the Republicans’ Contract with America – the deadline has been missed at least 80 times in capital cases. Sixteen of those inmates have since been executed — the most recent on Thursday, when Chadwick Banks was put to death in Florida.


Milwaukee kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.’s death follows cascade of errors by fight officials | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed a series of missteps by fight officials and trainers that led to the death of kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr. The investigation also exposes a need for regulation of the sport within Wisconsin.


Online Diplomas | NBC 6 South Florida

No federal or state agency regulates online schools so it’s impossible to know how many exist, but experts say diploma mills are a billion-dollar industry. NBC 6 South Florida investigated internet-based Nation High School and found reason for concern.

While they found no evidence that Nation has been in trouble with the law, they did find that owners of cyber businesses can be slippery, making it hard for authorities to investigate.


How the GOP used Twitter to stretch election laws | CNN

Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.

The Twitter accounts were hidden in plain sight. The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities.


Most federal agencies are using undercover operations | The New York Times

The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show.

Undercover work, inherently invasive and sometimes dangerous, was once largely the domain of the F.B.I. and a few other law enforcement agencies at the federal level. But outside public view, changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every corner of the federal government, according to officials, former agents and documents.

Medicaid patients denied new hepatitis C cures | Chicago Tribune

Revolutionary new drugs are curing hepatitis C, halting a disease that can corrode the liver to the point of cirrhosis, cancer and death. But state restrictions on who can get the costly drugs are keeping them out of reach for some of the poorest patients.

Treatment with new drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni, the first reliable cures for hepatitis C, costs more than $94,000 per patient. The high price of Sovaldi drove Illinois Medicaid’s hepatitis C spending to $22 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, up from $6.7 million the previous year, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

‘Vaccine court’ keeps claimants waiting | Associated Press

A system intended to speed help to vaccine-injured Americans has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families, The Associated Press has found.
To investigate vaccine court in depth, the AP read hundreds of decisions, conducted more than 100 interviews, and analyzed a database of more than 14,500 cases. That database was current as of January 2013; the government has refused to release an updated version since.


New data show long wait times remain at VA hospitals | USA Today

More than 600,000 veterans — 10% of all the Veterans Affairs patients — continue to wait a month or more for appointments at VA hospitals and clinics, according to data obtained by USA TODAY.

The VA has made some progress in dealing with the backlog of cases that forced former secretary Eric Shinseki to retire early this year. For instance, the VA substantially cut the overall number of worst-case scenarios for veterans — those who had waited more than four months for an appointment. That figure dropped from 120,000 in May to 23,000 in October. Much of that improvement occurred because patients received care from private providers.