The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.
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Search results for "guilty pleas" ...
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.
“Louisiana’s Horror Movie” grew out of our 2011 IRE award winning investigation “Hiding Behind the Badge”. That series ended with the guilty pleas of former Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle and businessman Aaron Bennett. Through investigative determination, “Louisana’s Horror Movie” uncovered possible public corruption by a former FBI agent and looked at his questionable relationship with the Hingle. What led us to this discovery was a piece of “Hiding Behind the Badge” we felt had not been fully explored: the money Hingle made from the B.P. oil spill. Even after the initial stories were reported, we felt there was more there. So we kept digging. It wasn’t February of 2012 that we uncovered Hingle's ties to former FBI agent, Robert Isakson. We requested emails, looking for more information to connect the dots. We had to fight the current sheriff’s office for the emails and eventually got them. The emails helped us show an improper relationship between the Hingle and Isakson – now a businessman getting contracts from Plaquemines Parish. This series eventually launched another FBI investigation, this time with Isakson in the crosshairs.
The series found "major problems with a little-known but significant aspect of indigent defense in Nevada. When two or more indigent defendants are charge in the same case, each defendant's testimony might implicate another. To avoid conflicts of interest that would occur if co-defendants were represented by a county public defender, that office represents only one, and private lawyers are hired by judges to represent the rest. Alan Maimon's reporting revealed that some conflict attorneys claimed to work more than 24 hours in a single day. Some spent excessive time on certain cases that paid a higher hourly rate, and tended to hastily offer guilty pleas on cases that did not pay as well."
A WSL-TV investigation reveals rampant corruption in city hall, and cook county government. The public corruption investigation resulted in numerous indictments, guilty pleas and at least on resignation. (Jan. 20, Feb. 2, May 19, July 13, Sept. 19, Nov. 7, 9 & 10, 1995)