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 "trial" ...

  • The Nazi and the Psychiatrist

    The Nazi and the Psychiatrist is a book of narrative journalism about a young U.S. Army psychiatrist, Douglas M. Kelley, who went to Nuremberg in 1945 to assess the sanity of the top Nazi leaders being held for trial. Kelley developed a close relationship with the highest-ranking German, Hermann Göring. The psychiatrist's findings greatly influenced his career and led him into a downward spiral that concluded with his suicide in 1958. The book explores the connection between Kelley's work and his suicide, and evaluates the significance of his psychiatric studies of the Nazis.
  • A Mother Left to Die: The Truth, Trial and Cover-Up in Arpaio’s Jail

    Waiting for a tow truck on New Year’s Day 2005, 45-year-old Deborah Braillard, an insulin-dependent diabetic mother, was arrested on a minor drug charge. Braillard would never even get the chance to go before a judge to make bail. For three days in custody at Maricopa County’s Estrella Jail, she was deprived of insulin and denied medical attention.
  • Trial and Error

    “Trial and Error” is a year-long investigation into the way pharmaceutical drugs are tested and approved for sale in the United States. Our report examined the strength of the safety net that is supposed to ensure that the billion-dollar blockbuster drug of today won’t be the dangerous drug of tomorrow.
  • Scenes of a Crime

    'Scenes of a Crime' explores a 10-hour interrogation culminating in a disputed confession, and an intense, high-profile murder trial in New York state. In September 2008, an infant named Matthew Thomas lies brain dead in a hospital, and his doctor misdiagnoses a skull fracture. The doctor tells Troy, New York police that the child has been murdered, and the detectives bring the baby’s father, Adrian Thomas, in for questioning. Police video of the interrogation reveals the complicated psychological contest between detectives and their suspect over many hours, including lies, threats and coercion that are legally permitted by most courts.
  • Aviaton Week: Fractured Freedom -- U.S. Navy Warship Woes

    The U.S. Navy rushed through with the development, building and deployment of its first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), which is meant to anchor its coastal surface fleet plans through rest of the century and then sought to hide the problems with the ship and program, putting the lives of the crew in jeopardy. To report on the failures of the ship and program, Aviation Week crisscrossed the country -- even agreeing to an unsanctioned tour of the vessel and publication of the observations in spite of the threat of imprisonment. Besides threatening Aviation Week, the Navy at first also denied the allegations. After subsequent follow-ups on continuing ship and program problems, though, Navy officials not only acknowledged the veracity of the reports and detailed plans to fix the problems, but also invited the publication for an official tour of the ship during special trials to observe the improvements that likely will save sailor's lives.
  • Grandma can’t accept your call: Inmates disconnected by phone costs

    This series of stories started with a simple question. Why does it cost so much for inmates to make calls from the Cook County Jail? In the course of my reporting on criminal and legal affairs for WBEZ, the public radio station in Chicago, I had heard numerous people complain about the high cost of phone calls. Some digging confirmed that the price could be as high as $15.00 for 15 minute calls. Three or four calls a week at that price gets expensive even for financially stable middle class folks, but the people paying these fees were mostly the poorest residents in Chicago. That’s because most of the people in the Cook County Jail are there because they and their families couldn’t afford to post bond of a couple thousand, or sometimes even just hundreds of dollars to secure their freedom while awaiting trial. They are the people who are least able to afford such expensive phone calls. A few FOIA requests revealed the scheme (and scheme is the right word… I just looked it up: a crafty or secret plan of action). Cook County gave an exclusive phone contract to a company called Securus Technologies. Securus charged inflated phone rates and their exclusive deal in the jail meant inmates wanting to talk to their families or arrange their defense had no choice but to pay the rates. Securus then paid back to the county 57½ percent of the revenue from the calls. It netted the county about $4 million a year. Securus wouldn’t tell us their take but I imagine they did alright too. All of the money was coming out of the pockets of the poorest residents in Cook County, people who couldn’t even afford to post bond for their freedom. (As an aside, this isn’t just an issue in Cook County. According to its website Securus provides the phone systems for 850,000 inmates in 2,200 jails and prisons across the country.) Our reporting shed public light on a hugely profitable contract that no one was paying attention to. We documented the lives of the impoverished people getting hammered by the policy and then turned the hammer on the local elected officials to ask them to explain how this was a good policy. The public officials responded in a way that once again proved the genius of democracy. Our efforts and the results are detailed in subsequent answers below.
  • The Real CSI

    Evidence collected at crime scenes—everything from fingerprints to bite marks—is routinely called upon in the courtroom to prosecute the most difficult crimes and put the guilty behind bars. And though glamorized on commercial television, in the real world, it’s not so cut-and-dried. A joint investigation by FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley examines the reliability of the science behind forensics in The Real CSI. From the sensational murder trial of Casey Anthony to the credentialing of forensic experts, “The Real CSI” documents how a field with few uniform standards and unproven science can undermine the search for justice. The investigation follows a landmark study by the National Academy of Sciences that called into question the tenets of forensic science. For the first time, Harry T. Edwards, a senior federal appellate court judge and co-chairman of the report, sits for an interview to discuss what the report means. And, FRONTLINE examines one of the most high-profile terrorist investigations since 9/11: the case of Brandon Mayfield, an attorney who was wrongfully identified and arrested as a suspect in the Madrid commuter train bombings after the FBI erroneously matched his fingerprint to a partial print found at the scene. In “The Real CSI,” FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman finds serious flaws in some of the best known tools of forensic science, wide inconsistencies in how forensic evidence is presented in the courtroom and no system in place for establishing the credibility of so-called “forensic experts” whose testimony can lead to a conviction.
  • Forensic Science

    A nine-month investigation found that Justice Department officials had known for years that flawed forensic evidence might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people but had not performed a thorough review of the cases. In addition, prosecutors did not notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled, forcing innocent defendants to stay incarcerated or on parole. The Post identified two District of Columbia men convicted largely on the flawed forensic work and testimony of FBI hair analysts who wrongly placed them at crime scenes. Since the Post report, both men have had their convictions vacated and judges have taken the unusual steps of fully exonerating the men so they can seek compensation from the government. As a result of The Post’s work, the Justice Department is reviewing more than 21,000 FBI Laboratory cases handled before 2000 to identify convictions that might merit exoneration, re-trial or re-testing of evidence.
  • Concealing County Corruption: Anatomy of a Cover-Up

    Wayne Dolcefino saves the best for last. In his final investigation for KTRK-TV, he and the 13 Undercover Unit demonstrated relentless persistence as they attempted to shake up a county government with an abysmal record of policing itself. This submission begins with four reports detailing shocking evidence of corruption inside the downtown precinct of Constable Jack Abercia. 13 Undercover spent several months doing painstaking surveillance -- catching the Constable’s deputies running his personal errands, working extra jobs on the clock and stockpiling never driven county patrol cars while lawmen were being laid off. 13 Undercover then managed to get a hidden camera inside the chief deputy’s office as he and two deputies talked openly about corruption inside the precinct. The language is often foul mouthed and always revealing. The FBI nabbed Aberica and two top commanders in a bribery sting weeks later. The veteran former constable is now awaiting trial. Eventually, 13 Undercover turned our cameras on county leaders to say “enough is enough.” Not only was action not forthcoming, it quickly became clear that many in positions of power wanted this all to go away without getting their hands dirty, without ending decades of a patronage system that made deputies feel required to give money to their boss’s campaigns and charities to keep their jobs. That was not an option. This investigation demanded accountability and we held leaders to the promises they made to the public. In late summer, 13 Undercover scored a major public records victory that revealed what one commentator dubbed "a cover-up of Nixonian proportions." The series culminated with the long awaited, and previously unimaginable, indictment of one of the county’s most popular elected officials – precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino. New county directives now prohibit constables from soliciting money from their deputies and legislation is expected to filed in Austin to protect county employees from further shakedowns.
  • 'Perversion files' show locals helped cover up

    On June 14, 2012, following a civil trial, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that decades of the Boy Scouts’ confidential files would be made public. They would first need to allow the Scouts and plaintiffs’ attorneys time to redact the files of sensitive information. Given a months-long head start, editor Terry Petty and reporter Nigel Duara began the process of negotiating the unredacted files from a longtime source. The negotiations took two months and required the guarantee of an embargo. In August, they received a CD with 20,000 pages of perversion files. Duara and Petty combed through the files, looking for patterns. The Scouts’ concealment of the abuse has been reported before, beginning with an exhaustive series in the early 1990s from the Washington Times. But the AP team found something else: Locals helped. County attorneys, newspaper editors, mayors and police officers were all detailed in the files helping keep the Scouts’ name out of charging documents and off the front page. Indeed, a local county attorney proudly reported to Scouts leaders that he quashed an investigation in which a man confessed to sexually abusing two brothers “to protect the name of Scouting.”