A selection of the work I've done using investigative techniques, calling the powerful to account on behalf of vulnerable people.
Stolen Youth: How Durham's Criminal Justice System Sent Erick Daniels to Prison Based on the Shape of His Eyebrows
INDYWeek, May 23, 2007
An old investigation but still one of my best. Erick Daniels was a boy when he was wrongfully sent to prison - one of the first children in North Carolina tried as an adult. I tracked down the people and documents that helped prove Erick's innocence and that pointed toward another man's guilt.
Parents' Minor Marijuana Arrests Lead to Child Neglect Cases
The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2011
A front-page report calling attention to hundreds of New Yorkers who were caught with non-criminal amounts of marijuana, or who simply admitted to using it, only to face child neglect charges. Some parents even had their children taken away.
ProPublica, March 2, 2009
Local prosecutors around the country partnered with a debt-collection company, allowing the firm to send letters on prosecutors' letterhead threatening jail time to millions of consumers who had bounced checks. But the jail threats weren't enforced and were actually designed to convince consumers to pay high fees. Prosecutors offices shared in the profits.
States Prosecute Fewer Teenagers in Adult Courts
The New York Times, March 5, 2011
A front-page report on a move by states to prosecute fewer teenagers in adult criminal courts. The move came in response to an emerging consensus that many young delinquents have been mishandled by the adult court system.
Disabilities Act Prompts Flood of Lawsuits Some Cite as Unfair
The New York Times, April 16, 2012
A front-page report on a cadre of lawyers filing a flood of questionable lawsuits citing violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, only to generate legal fees.
Prisoners' Letters Offer Glimpses of Life Inside Solitary Confinement
The New York Times, Oct. 1, 2012
Handwritten letters from New York State prisoners to the New York Civil Liberties Union described the psychological toll of long-term solitary confinement.
Wide Sentencing Disparity Found Among U.S. Judges
The New York Times, March 5, 2012
An analysis of hundreds of thousands of criminal cases in federal courts found vast disparities in the prison sentences handed down by judges even when the judges were presiding over similar cases.
The Real 'CSI': How America's Patchwork System of Death Investigations Puts the Living at Risk
ProPublica, Feb. 1, 2011
I was part of a team of reporters working on this investigation into wrongdoing and mismanagements among coroners and medical examiners. Our work contributed to a print story, a Frontline documentary, and a report on NPR's All Things Considered.
What is Judge Richard Chaney Hiding
INDYWeek, Jan. 16, 2008
For years, a juvenile court judge mentored troubled teens, even as he was investigated several times for allegedly having inappropriate relationships with teenage girls.