Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Supreme Court" ...

  • Justice on the run

    The American Lawyer examines a controversial abortion case that could cost two members of the California Supreme Court their jobs. With their retention elections drawing near, the judges are scurrying for campaign dollars and support while their opponents prepare to attack.
  • Burning Questions

    On January 5, 1995, the worst disaster in Seattle Fire Department history killed 4 firefighters. A 10-month Dateline investigation revealed strong evidence that the tragedy might have been avoided. Authorities were tipped to an arson threat and staked out the target building. When the warehouse didn't burn, the surveillance was pulled. Three weeks later the fire was set. The sole suspect, Martin Pang, fled to Brazil. Dateline followed him to South America with the help of a second informant. Pang was extradited back to the U.S., but the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled he could only face arson charges. Families and fellow firefighters of the dead men were outrage, and a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice admitted they may have made a mistake. Seattle prosecutors filed murder charges anyway, and the battle over whether he could be tried for murder moved to the U.S. courts.
  • Government by Litigation So Sue Me

    The story focuses on a trend among government officials to flout laws they don't support. Citizens often sue to get them to obey or enforce such laws. In Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service allowed logging in its Southwest region, despite a federal court order prohibiting it. The story also alleges that the state legislature and former governor ignored a state Supreme Court order to change the way the state apportions money for new schools. In both examples, the court orders emerged from suits brought by citizens groups, and in both cases the court's actions were met by more obstruction.
  • Crimes against children

    A Tribune investigation finds that child molesters often slip through the cracks of law enforcement. Police, county prosecutors and misplace confidence in a nationally touted probation program are to blame.
  • Guess Who's Coming to VMI

    The Supreme Court ruled that the Virginia Military Institute must admit women or stop accepting public funds. VMI's history, its tradition of hazing, and opinions about the ruling are discussed. Josiah Bunting, VMI's superintendent, is an outspoken opponent of the ruling; his opinions and background are discussed.
  • Captivating a Nation

    When Joseph Roger O'Dell was convicted of Helen Schartner's murder in 1986, he was sentenced to death in the electric chair. But a few years later a wealthy socialite divorcee named Lori Urs fell in love with him, and his fortunes changed. Urs campaigned nationally for his release, and when that didn't produce results, she went oversees -- the Roman Catholic country of Italy. There, O'Dell became a "hit" -- a symbol against the death penalty. Italian parliamentarians even passed measures denouncing the act. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed his execution on December 1996. This article discusses the facts, fables and implications of this trial on the eve of O'Dell's argument before the Supreme Court.
  • (Untitled)

    The American Lawyer investigates the case of Lloyd Schlup, a Missouri prisoner on death row for the stabbing murder of a fellow inmate. Even though several witnesses insist another man committed the murder and prison cameras suggest it would have been virtually impossible for Schlup to be at the scene of the crime at the time of the murder, the Supreme Court is expected to allow the execution to proceed. Supreme Court officials are becoming increasingly hostile to retrying cases based upon new evidence - even if that means the death of wrongly-convicted prisoners. (Dec. 1994)
  • (Untitled)

    The process of arbitration is examined and presented as a less expensive alternative to trial in this compilation of essays. All view points of this issue are addressed including advocacy of arbitration, Supreme Court cases that affect arbitration, problems with the practice, common uses, and the process. (April 1996)
  • (Untitled)

    Adarand v. Pena is an affirmative action case that is quickly claiming a key role in this social issue. The case has been sending ripples through lower courts and is calling into question much of affirmative action as currently practiced. The New Republic discusses political stances and brings into the light other dilemmas that could affect our country in the near future. (April 22, 1996)
  • Judging Judges: A Case for Concern (and other titles) (this is a series)

    This investigative series details numerous ethical and criminal violations by lawyers that have resulted in little or no punishment because of a state Supreme Court that acts more as a shield for bad lawyers than as a protector of the public. In one instance, the state Supreme Court, under the cloak of one of the nation's strictest secrecy codes for lawyer discipline, tried and sentenced a citizen in secret for revealing that he filed a complaint about a lawyer. The Supreme Court did not inform the citizen of his rights, and did not even provide him with an attorney. (April 8 - Oct. 17, 1995)