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 "false confessions" ...

  • Trading Away Justice

    Guilty pleas have become the go-to solution for the nation’s overburdened courts. They account for nine of every 10 convictions in the United States. But our near-total reliance on plea bargaining has created a parallel justice system -- one without the constitutional safeguards of trials, that operates largely in secret and with little oversight. Through case studies and data analysis, “Trading Away Justice” documents how even innocent defendants are being pressured into pleading guilty.
  • Spotlight on False Confessions

    The Miami Herald found that at least 38 murder confessions were thrown out in Broward County courts by judges, juries, police or prosecutors. Suspects were jailed for confessions that incorrectly stated basic facts of a crime. Confessions were taken from suspects who asked for attorneys or asked to remain silent. Detectives forced confessions out of people under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Broward County detectives also took confessions from the mentally disabled, from minors, and from the homeless.
  • A case for innocence

    Miami Herald investigates a possible wrongful conviction dating back to 1993. The series reveal that Timothy Brown, a mentally ill teenager convicted for the murder of a police officer, might have been wrongly imprisoned. The reporters find evidence that his confession appears to have been coerced, and expose a pattern of false confessions in Broward County, Fla. Part of the series also reports on the capture of another suspect, Andrew Johnson, who has confessed to the murder on tape. To obtain some of the documents needed for the investigation, the newspaper initiated a public-records lawsuit against the sheriff's office.
  • A Blue Wall of Silence. False Confessions

    The Washington Post exposes police misconduct in Prince George's County in two related series. "False confessions" reveals that the county's homicide detectives have used "such coercive interrogation tactics that innocent people have confessed to murder." Depriving the suspects from sleep, interrogating them for days and not allowing them to talk to lawyers are the most common tactics. "Blue Wall of Silence" reports on a decade-long pattern of police shootings. The stories reveal that, since 1990 the county police officers have shot 122 people, killing 47 of them. "They killed more people than any other major city or county police force from 1990 to 2000," the Post reports. Many of the victims were unarmed and innocent. The investigation finds that police officers have rarely - if ever - been disciplined, and that some of their crimes did not emerge until the victims or their families sued.
  • Cops and Confessions, The Roscetti Case

    The Chicago Tribune explains the widespread problems of "false confessions induced by police in Cook County."
  • (Untitled)

    American Lawyer revealed how standard interrogations by Arizona law enforcement officials led four innocent people to confess to the slaying of a group of Buddhist Monks in Phoenix.
  • Innocent, But Behind Bars

    U.S. News reports on the murder of Pauline Martz, and the man who stands accused of her death. Johnny Lee WIlson, a 20-year-old mildly retarded man was questioned by police, and within a few hours confessed to the crime. The investigation reveals that the murder was not a closed case, and makes a startling case for why Wilson-in his ninth year behind bars-is an innocent man.