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Texas Monthly "The Innocent Man"

Texas Monthly "The Innocent Man" | Legal Investigative Journalism | Scoop.it

"On August 13, 1986, Michael Morton came home from work to discover that his wife had been brutally murdered in their bed. His nightmare had only begun."

 

Fenit Nirappil's insight:

One of the best magazine articles (two parts) I have ever read chronicling a Texan wrongfully convicted of killing his wife. Many of the common themes we see in wrongful conviction cases come up here: police failing to follow up with certain leads, a lack of physical evidence and faulty science. It's very long, but so beautifully written you don't want to stop reading.

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Medill Innocence Project Probes 18-Year-Old Child-Abuse Case

Medill Innocence Project Probes 18-Year-Old Child-Abuse Case | Legal Investigative Journalism | Scoop.it
"A slew of medical studies have emerged in recent years, challenging the very foundation of shaken-baby syndrome. These studies show that the triad of symptoms associated with this form of child abuse can be attributed to other, less sinister causes, including when a child falls. As medical experts increasingly mount a challenge to the traditional understanding of shaken-baby syndrome, the inevitable question arises: Are mothers, fathers, nannies, babysitters, day care workers and others in prisons for crimes they did not commit based on outdated medical science?"
Fenit Nirappil's insight:

The Medill Innocence Project, where I got my first intensive investigative reporting experience, investigated the case of a babysitter accused of shaking a baby to death. Some say shaken baby cases are the new future of Innocence Projects - and this story does a great job of breaking down complex medical and scientific information gleaned through thousands of pages of records and extensive interviews with experts. 

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Secret criminals: US quietly released 8,500 criminals who were supposed to be deported -- with deadly consequences - The Boston Globe

Secret criminals: US quietly released 8,500 criminals who were supposed to be deported -- with deadly consequences - The Boston Globe | Legal Investigative Journalism | Scoop.it
"Immigration officials do not notify most crime victims when they release a criminal such as Chen, and they only notify local law enforcement on a case by case basis. And even though immigration officials have the power to try to hold dangerous people longer, that rarely occurs."
Fenit Nirappil's insight:

This week the Boston Globe is publishing an investigative series called "Justice in the Shadows."  When it came to getting records, reporters hit numerous roadblocks and even sued the Department of Homeland Security. 

 

The Boston Globe reported how convicted criminals sentenced to deportation end up released because of logistical problems. My lingering question after this story: What are the existing, or proposed, alternatives for what to do with a criminal who cannot be deported? 

 

Later installments will examine the lack of rights afforded to foreigners accused of crimes. 

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Texas Monthly "The Innocent Man"

Texas Monthly "The Innocent Man" | Legal Investigative Journalism | Scoop.it

"On August 13, 1986, Michael Morton came home from work to discover that his wife had been brutally murdered in their bed. His nightmare had only begun."

 

Fenit Nirappil's insight:

One of the best magazine articles (two parts) I have ever read chronicling a Texan wrongfully convicted of killing his wife. Many of the common themes we see in wrongful conviction cases come up here: police failing to follow up with certain leads, a lack of physical evidence and faulty science. It's very long, but so beautifully written you don't want to stop reading.

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Arizona Republic special report: Unsettled, Unwanted and Unaccounted For: Homeless sex offenders in metro Phoenix

Arizona Republic special report: Unsettled, Unwanted and Unaccounted For: Homeless sex offenders in metro Phoenix | Legal Investigative Journalism | Scoop.it
"Arizona is not unique in its struggles to house and monitor sex offenders. Experts say no state does it well."
Fenit Nirappil's insight:

Arizona Republic county government reporter Michelle Ye Hee Lee did what a great investigative reporter does: She kept her eyes open for deep problems while doing her day-to-day reporting and monitored relevant government data to tell an even more powerful, systemic story. Everyone, not just Arizona readers, would be served by reading Tuesday's installment about how experts believe no state has an ideal model for monitoring sex offenders - an emotionally and politically charged issue where the most popular options aren't always in the community's best interests. 

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Feds expand polygraph screening, often seeking intimate facts | McClatchy

Feds expand polygraph screening, often seeking intimate facts | McClatchy | Legal Investigative Journalism | Scoop.it

"Last year, more than 73,000 Americans submitted to polygraph tests to get or keep jobs with the federal government, although such screening is mostly banned in the private sector and denounced by scientists."


Fenit Nirappil's insight:

Many courts don't allow polygraphs, but its regular use to screen government employees raises  concerns, McClatchy reports in a series. Apart from false readings, it's very hard for applicants to appeal results or allege discrimination. Before 9/11, Congress showed interest in the issue. So the question raised by this series is what can and should be changed in federal policy? 

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