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 "wrongful conviction" ...

  • 48 Hours: Was Kevin Cooper Framed?

    An in-depth report chronicling the conviction of Kevin Cooper and his 34-year fight to clear his name.
  • Burned: A Story of Murder and the Crime That Wasn't

    The book revisits the murder conviction of Jo Ann Parks, sentenced to life in prison without parole for allegedly murdering her three young children in 1989by setting fire to her home and trapping them inside. In re-investigating the case, the author found flawed forensic science, false and contradictory testimony, and strong evidence of cognitive bias throughout the case, including use of an unreliable informant who later recanted, and sworn expert testimony that the fire began because Parks supposedly constructed a crude “incendiary device” by deliberately overloading a sabotaged electrical extension cord. Testing later proved the cord did not and could not start a fire. Information in the book has since been added to Parks’ existing habeas corpus petition filed by the California Innocence Project, now being considered by the state Supreme Court. Additional findings suggests the problems with flawed forensic science and cognitive bias in general, and in arson investigation in particular, is widespread and has led to other wrongful convictions. Correcting the use of flawed forensic and expert testimony is hindered by the legal system’s reliance on precedent, which slows and sometimes prevents the correction of scientifically dubious ideas used to win convictions. Nascent attempts to study and change this tendency to prolong the use of flawed forensic science initiated by the Obama Administration have been shut down by the Trump Administration.
  • 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.
  • SB Tribune/ProPublica: Criminal Justice in Elkhart, Indiana

    Reports by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica revealed deep flaws and abuses of power in the criminal justice system in Elkhart, Indiana -- from new revelations in the wrongful convictions of two innocent men, to the promotions of police supervisors with serious disciplinary records, to the mishandling of police misconduct cases -- and led to the resignation of the police chief, an independent investigation of the department and criminal charges against two officers.
  • Murderville, Georgia

    When a brutal murder rocks a small Southern town, residents and police are shocked. Could the new guy in town be the one who who did it? Yes, the cops say, he is. Case solved. But then another murder happens. And another. In the end: four bodies, two convictions, and one man in jail for a crime he likely did not commit.
  • Wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice

    The Medill Justice Project examines miscarriages of justice and potentially wrongful convictions, highlights problems in the criminal justice system, such as the reliability of eyewitness identification, and raises questions about the validity of the diagnoses of shaken-baby syndrome and medical child abuse in its investigations across the country. http://www.medilljusticeproject.org/
  • System Failure

    An innocent man spends 6 years in prison for the murder of his infant daughter. It was never a crime to begin with. The forensic science used to convict him was flawed. It’s another example of the shoddy work of a Minnesota medical examiner we have investigated and reported on since early 2010. We continued our coverage this year with 2 more stories. One features an in-depth look at the case of the man wrongfully convicted of killing his child who was set free after a review of the evidence. The other examines the mysterious death of an Army National guardsman and the lack of a thorough investigation by the medical examiner to find the true cause of the soldier’s death.
  • Wrongful Convictions

    The Medill Justice Project examines wrongful convictions, and in their investigations in 2014 they unearthed revelatory information that raised questions about the reliability of eyewitness identification, the truth in confessions and the validity of expert medical testimonies in murder cases across the country.
  • Hartman Justice Project

    Recent developments in Alaska Innocence Project’s battle for exoneration of the so-called Fairbanks Four, a largely Athabaskan group of men serving sentences ranging from 33-75 years for John Hartman’s 1997 murder. O'Donoghue has been dogging, with the help of undergraduate students, what now appears to wrongful convictions in this case for more years than I care to count, exposing many flaws in a police investigation drawing direction from drunken confessions, trials sporting lying witnesses and racist prosecutorial branding, jury misconduct that (briefly) overturned one verdict in 2004.
  • A Bronx Tale

    A BRONX TALE, reported by Josh Mankiewicz, documents Eric Glisson’s emotional journey as he fights to free not only himself, but ultimately FIVE other innocent people, all wrongfully convicted of committing a murder together in the Bronx. Through dogged determination and years of fighting for information, Glisson conducted his own investigation from behind bars, and found the real killers.