Criminal Justice

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How A Folk Singer’s Murder Forced Chile to Confront Its Past

Víctor Jara was a legendary Chilean folk singer and political activist, whose brutal killing during a military coup in 1973 went unsolved for decades. Now, his family may finally get justice.
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For Private Prisons, Detaining Immigrants Is Big Business

An inmate population surge in the 1980s led to the growth of for-profit prisons. Today, despite their mixed record, private prison companies are overseeing the vast majority of undocumented migrants.
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Operation Ceasefire

Our latest collaboration with The New Yorker, tells the story of cops, African-American pastors, gang members, and academics coming together to create positive change for Boston, while upending notions of traditional policing in a way that is especially pertinent today.
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What History Can Teach Us About Mass Killings

A century ago, a culture rid itself of the problem of mass murder. How did that happen and what can modern-day America learn from it?
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How ISIS Resembles the Doomsday Cults of the 1970s

Can the lessons we learned from extremist cults decades ago be used to fight ISIS recruitment today?
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How Social Media Has Turned Us Into Digital Bystanders

Live-streaming apps like Facebook Live and Periscope give us a voyeuristic peek into the lives of others. But what is our obligation when we encounter digital violence?
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The Back Story on Bad Forensic Science

With the Trump administration’s move to end a commission investigating flaws in forensic science, Retro Report looks at the history of one now-challenged method: hair analysis.
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Remembering Kitty

More than 50 years after Kitty Genovese's murder became a symbol of urban apathy, her partner, Mary Ann Zielonko remembers Kitty's life and impact.
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Argentina's Stolen Babies, and the Grandmothers Leading the Search

Estela de Carlotto has spent nearly four decades searching for her grandson, one of the estimated 500 babies who disappeared after their mothers were taken by the military regime in Argentina in the 1970s.
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Separated from Parents as a Child, Argentine Man Finds his Family

The story of one man's search for his identity after his parents disappeared during Argentina's military dictatorship.
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Sisters Search for Lost Brother Separated by Argentine Dictatorship

Flavia Battistiol has turned to social media in hopes of being reunited with the sibling who disappeared in 1977, when the military junta ruled Argentina.
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Lessons from Columbine About School Shootings and Media Misinformation

The killing of twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in 1999 continues to shape how we view and understand school shootings today.
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The Lawyer

A mini-doc about the anatomy of a shaken baby case from the perspective of defense attorney Adele Bernhard.
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A Mother, a Dingo and an Australian Media Frenzy

In 1982, an Australian mother was convicted of murdering her baby daughter. She was later exonerated, but soon fell victim to a joke that distracted the world from the real story.
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The Murder of US Churchwomen in El Salvador That Exposed a Government Coverup

The murder of four American churchwomen focused attention on the United States' involvement in El Salvador. Decades later, the case continues to take surprising turns.
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How the Shootout at Ruby Ridge Resonates in the Gun Debate Today

When armed suspects stand off against the law today, one event continues to cast a shadow on both sides of the police line: the 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge.
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Flawed Evidence: The Limits of Science in the Crime Lab

Before DNA testing, prosecutors relied on less sophisticated forensic techniques, including microscopic hair analysis, to put criminals behind bars. But how reliable was hair analysis?
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The Superpredator Scare

In the mid-1990s, after a decade of soaring juvenile crime, some social scientists warned the violence would only get worse. Reality proved otherwise.
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The Shame of the Church

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?
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The Preschool Sex Abuse Case that Changed How Molestation is Investigated

The nightmare began in 1983 when a 39-year-old mother called the police department in Manhattan Beach, California and accused a teacher at the McMartin Preschool, Raymond Buckey, of molesting her two and a half-year old son.
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Stealing J. Edgar Hoover's Secrets

Long before Edward Snowden, there was the greatest heist you've never heard of. On March 8, 1971, a group of eight Vietnam War protestors broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole hundreds of government documents that shocked a nation.
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Crime and Punishment: Three Strikes and You’re Out

After the 1993 murder of a California child, many states passed laws to lock up repeat offenders for life, but today those laws are raising new questions about how crime is handled in America.
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Wrongly Accused of Terrorism: The Sleeper Cell That Wasn't

Six days after 9/11, the FBI’s raid on a Detroit sleeper cell signaled America’s resolve to fight terrorism. But, despite a celebrated conviction, there was one problem — they’d gotten it wrong.
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The Tawana Brawley Story

In 1988, the nation learned the truth about the alleged crimes against Tawana Brawley, but the shocking story was far from over.