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 "judges" ...

  • ProPublica: The Child Abuse Contrarians

    Judges and juries hearing cases of alleged physical abuse of babies rely on expert witnesses to illuminate the medical evidence based on an impartial examination of the record and the victims. But in two fascinating investigative profiles co-published by ProPublica and The New Yorker, ProPublica Senior Reporter David Armstrong exposed a pair of sought-after expert witnesses who fall far short of this standard. Both work exclusively for accused child abusers and use dubious scientific arguments to make their case, potentially undermining justice and endangering children. Their success underscores the susceptibility of the U.S. judicial system to junk science, as well as the growing suspicion of mainstream medicine in an era when misinformation quickly spreads online.
  • NBC News: Bias In Olympic Figure Skating Judging

    When it comes to judging Olympic figure skating, nationalistic bias is measurable and statistically significant. Data shows a typical judge will give about three points more to an athlete from the same country in cumulative scores. Academics know this. But NBC News showed problems with Olympic skating judging even run deeper. The very people who judge skating include leaders in national skating federations, raising further questions of bias. NBC News found that the pool of 164 judges eligible for PyeongChang's figure-skating events includes 33 judges — roughly a fifth of the total — who hold or have held leadership positions in their national skating federations. NBC News documented how judges caught cheating and breaking the rules routinely are allowed to quickly return to judging the world’s top international competitions. NBC News also did something never attempted before: Spotting bias during the Olympics, and naming names. Our stories got results. For the first time, the International Skating Union took action. After the Olympics, one of the judges named by NBC News while the Olympics were going on, Feng Huang of China, was sanctioned for statistical patterns of bias.
  • L.A. Times: In the Search for Drugs, a Lopsided Dragnet

    Since 2012, deputies in a specialized narcotics unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have pulled over thousands of cars on a rural stretch of the 5 Freeway, California’s major north-south artery. A Times analysis of the unit’s traffic stops found Latino drivers are stopped and searched far more frequently than other motorists – a disparity that translated into thousands of innocent people being detained by deputies acting on little more than a hunch. In several cases, federal judges ruled deputies violated people’s constitutional rights. In response to The Times’ investigation, the Sheriff’s Department recently suspended the unit’s operations.
  • L.A. Times: How California Law Shielded Dishonest Cops

    For decades, California’s strict police privacy laws made it nearly impossible for anyone to find out basic information about police officer misconduct. A team of Los Angeles Times reporters spent months investigating the impact of this secrecy on the criminal justice system. They found that officers caught for dishonesty and other serious wrongdoing were able to continue testifying in court without prosecutors, defendants, judges and jurors ever finding out about their past. Countless defendants were convicted based on the testimony of these officers. Published at the height of a political debate over making police records public, the stories helped galvanize support to change state law and open up some records about officer misconduct, which had been kept confidential for 40 years.
  • Influence & Injustice: An investigation into the power of prosecutors

    When it comes to racial bias in Florida's criminal justice system, there's plenty of blame to go around. Judges say prosecutors are the most responsible because they control the plea negotiation process where 95 percent of cases are resolved, But while prosecutors are the most powerful people in the system, that power varies based on where they practice and the relative influence of other actors – judges, public defenders, private attorneys, law enforcement officers and even juries.
  • Judicial appointment loophole sparks debate over NY constitution

    This story reveals a longtime but little-known practice of governors using a law to create one of their biggest, six-figure patronage mills to appoint appoint judges to critical courts that the constitution says are to be be presided over by elected judges.
  • BuzzFeed News: The Edge

    Figure skating, one of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics, has a problem: Scoring is often slanted in favor of the judges' home countries. In this exclusive analysis, BuzzFeed News showed that one third of the officials selected to judge the 2018 Winter Olympics had, in recent seasons, demonstrated a home-country preference so strikingly consistent that the odds of it occurring by random chance were less than 1 in 100,000.
  • Who Guards the Guardians

    This series was developed to give the public an insider's view into a taxpayer funded court system that can do irreparable harm after it is asked to help. It is the section of the court that deals with families bickering over what do to with an aging, ailing Mom or Dad. Judges in these courts have extraordinary powers to strip the elderly of their civil rights, push family members aside and appoint strangers to act as personal and financial guardians for the newly proclaimed “ward of the court.” In the process the guardians can – and do – ignore carefully prepared estate plans and wills, bypassing the expressed wishes of the elder. It is a growing nationwide problem which will only become more pervasive as the U.S. population continues to grow older. This series focuses on the especially secretive system in place in New Mexico.
  • Rhino Horn Trafficking

    Poaching rhino for horn has decimated the species, corrupted law enforcement from rangers to prosecutors, judges, and politicians, and resulted in the killing of rangers and poachers throughout the rhinos’ range. Unlike elephants whose ivory tusks do not grow back, rhino horn can be sawed off and it will regrow, opening an opportunity to farm the species. This story investigates the highly controversial effort by the South African game industry to farm rhino as a proposed solution to the international trafficking problem. In particular, two South Africans who hold the key to the rhino’s future, have used lawsuits and, in one case, a shell plaintiff to block major criminal actions in South Africa and the United States, as well as to force the lifting of South Africa’s ban on rhino horn trade.
  • Visiting Judges Costs

    There are no limits on time off for elected officials, including county judges. When a judge is absent and has hearings scheduled, then a visiting judge is paid to fill-in. The money a visiting judge earns is paid out of tax dollars. One county judge has been absent over a month for three years.