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 "punishment" ...

  • Perversion of Justice: How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime

    Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown and visual journalist Emily Michot documented how a politically connected mulitmillionaire manipulated the criminal justice system to avoid significant punishment for his obsessive pursuit of sexual encounters with underage girls. Through behind-the-scenes emails, the journalists also demonstrated the remarkably cozy relationship between defendant Jeffrey Epstein's powerhouse legal team and state and federal prosecutors, including U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who is now President Trump's labor secretary. And, in a first, they tracked down and interviewed several of Epstein's victims.
  • Solitary Lives: An investigation into the secret world of solitary confinement

    In prison cells across North Carolina, government officials are meting out punishment that human rights experts say amounts to torture. For more than 13 years, the state kept inmate Jason Swain in solitary confinement - a punishment that research shows often causes and exacerbates mental illness. Swain, who suffers from bipolar depression, repeatedly swallowed razors and ripped open his surgical incisions. The Observer found he was just one of seven N.C. inmates who had spent more than a decade in solitary. Even 16-year-olds are confined to solitary in North Carolina - before they’re convicted of crimes.
  • Smart Consumer Reports

    "Smart Consumer Reports" is a weekly show that provides consumers with credible information for them to make rational choices through comparative experiments and analysis of consumer goods and services as consumers are the weak compared to producers and distributors. This episode covers the worst case of manufactured product in Korea, the humidifier sterilizer incident. The official recorded deaths are 146 from this incident and it's already been 5 years since the incident occurred. However, the government has been neglecting this incident and there has been no punishment for the manufacturer and compensation for the victims. This program reports such results and seeks for an institutional solution that can save the victims.
  • Prosecuting Pregnancy

    The criminalization of drug use in pregnancy is universally opposed by health officials and drug policy experts. But the idea that prison is a fitting punishment for prenatal drug use has become widely accepted in Alabama. Starting in 2006, prosecutors began charging women who used drugs during pregnancy with “chemical endangerment,” a form of child abuse that carries a one to 10-year prison sentence if a baby is unharmed and up to 99 years if a baby dies.
  • 911 Dispatch Delay

    In November of 2012, a man dialed 911 for help from his apartment which had caught fire. The fire spread quickly while he was on the phone with 911. The fire took his life. An internal investigation that began the next morning and continued for the next year determined a failure to properly dispatch the fire department led to a nearly five minute delay in response. It was only the second time in the history of the Onondaga County 911 center a dispatch delay had led, in part, to a fatality. The delay was never revealed. Not to the man's family, the fire department or the public. Three years after the fire our investigation of more than eight months led to all of those parties learning of the deadly delay. We also discovered the dispatcher who was determined to be at fault served no punishment and was not retrained. http://cnycentral.com/news/local/911-commissioner-5-minute-dispatch-delay-blamed-partly-for-fiery-death http://cnycentral.com/news/local/fire-victim-tells-911-call-taker-i-dont-want-to-die-during-dispatch-delay https://youtu.be/WqkQpYKN65E https://youtu.be/TAsu2G4oWpo https://youtu.be/vLbMZltc-sE https://youtu.be/IGy14aM64GI
  • Disorder in the court

    The four-month investigation examined the quality of capital representation in Pennsylvania, finding nearly one in five sentenced to death over the past decade were represented by attorneys disciplined for professional misconduct at some point in their career.
  • Deficient Hospices Rarely Punished

    After mining a database of inspection records, Huffington Post determined that hospices frequently go three years -- and sometimes much longer -- without any regulatory scrutiny. It also showed that when hospices break Medicare's rules, endangering the safety and even lives of their frail patients, they are virtually never punished. Medicare’s regulator has punished a hospice provider just 16 times in the last decade, despite carrying out 15,000 inspections and identifying more than 31,000 violations. In each instance, the hospice’s license was terminated -- the sole recourse for regulators when they confront a hospice that breaks the rules. The system of oversight designed to ensure sound practices in an industry that has quadrupled in size since 2000 simply has no means to assess fines or other punishments. The service, which at its best provides a caring, home-based alternative to hospitalization for terminally ill patients, is increasingly how Americans die. Yet virtually nothing is known about the quality of the companies providing that service. This story reveals to consumers those hospices that regulators have determined have the most problems -- and hopefully spurring government authorities to act.
  • Driving with suspended license top crime in Menlo Park, many lose cars

    The story shows that the majority of drivers cited for driving with a suspended license in Menlo Park, California are Latino or African American. Most of these citations resulted in the driver's vehicle being impounded for the statutory 30 day period. Many of the drivers affected had their licenses suspended not because of safety concerns such as DUIs, but because of other reasons, such as not paying for two minor traffic tickets and failing to show up in court. More than half of the drivers, according to towers, never retrieve their cars from impound lots, which is very likely due to the steep cost of retrieving the vehicles, which sometimes is worth more than the car. The story explores whether the punishment of losing a car fits the original violation.
  • Outside the Lines: College Athletes & Crime

    --Lawyers, status, public backlash aid college athletes accused of crimes-- When college athletes, especially big-name stars, are accused of crimes, they often make headlines — not just because of an arrest, but often for avoiding charges or prosecution. Some people believe athletes get special treatment for their status, while others believe they are unfairly targeted. Outside the Lines studied thousands of police reports and court records and discovered that athletes at some schools are indeed less likely to face criminal punishment. However, the reasons why may be surprising.
  • Serving in Silence: Rape in the National Guard

    The National Guard has consistently claimed it is working “aggressively” to combat rape and sexual assault within its ranks. But in a groundbreaking series of reports, WRC-TV’s seven-part series “Serving in Silence: Rape in the National Guard” exposes how this major component of the military hasn’t been tracking critical data, allowing most of the men who committed the crime to walk free, while destroying the careers of those who were assaulted through retaliation. In the last few years, there have been many stories about sexual assault in the military. But no one, not even Congress, has been able to get real nationwide data on how those crimes are investigated and how they punish offenders. Which is why, after interviewing the highest-ranking women in the National Guard to speak publicly about their assaults, NBC4 broke rank and sent a survey to every Guard unit in the nation asking them how they tackle the problem, what resources they wish they had and what punishments they use. We ultimately created what is now the only public, nationwide source of hard data on military sexual assault investigations and their outcomes, prompting New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand to tell us, “We didn’t even have the basic information. Your survey is the first slice of information we actually have,” for the entire military. “It really shines a light on a huge issue that we don't have the level of transparency and accountability that we need on these serious criminal cases in the National Guard."