Extra Extra : Justice (courts/crime/law)

Extra Extra Monday: Florida law allows troubled charter operators to keep running schools

Shuttered: Florida’s Failed Charter Schools | Naples Daily News

As charter schools have boomed in Florida — 622 operated in 2013-14, up from 257 in 2003-04 — many have also busted. Since charter schools were first permitted in 1996, 269 out of nearly 900 opened charter schools have closed, a failure rate of about 30 percent. That tally includes six schools closed in Lee County and two closed in Collier County.

To better understand Florida’s charter school failings, the Daily News undertook a first-of-its-kind task, examining all charter schools that have closed since 2008. The newspaper reviewed hundreds of closure documents ...

Read more ...

Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

They were pulled over for a minor traffic violation and, instead of getting just a ticket, they had their money confiscated by police. An aggressive brand of policing has led to the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from American motorists and others not charged with crimes. It’s a largely hidden side effect of the government’s push to have the police become the eyes and ears of homeland security on highways since the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a three-part series, The Washington Post examines how thousands of people have been forced to fight legal ...

Read more ...

With veto power, Rick Perry influenced, targeted and vexed

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s history shows his recent and controversial use of the veto isn’t the only time he’s used the power for political reasons.

Perry, who faces pending charges over his veto threat to a district attorney after her drunk driving arrest, has a long and complex history with the veto, according to a story in The Austin American-Statesman.

Reports to child protection agencies overlooked in Minnesota

A flawed system of investigating suspected child abuse and neglect has contributed to a disturbing statistic in Minnesota. Since 2005, 54 children have died from maltreatment despite reports to child protection agencies indicating that the kids could be in danger, according to a special report from the Star Tribune.

The story follows the case of Eric Dean, who died at age 4 after various daycare workers and others had filed a combined 15 reports of suspected abuse, only one of which was shared with local authorities.

Till death do us part: A look at deadly domestic violence in South Carolina

More than 300 women were shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death over the past decade by men in South Carolina, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse.

It's a staggering toll that for more than 15 years has placed South Carolina among the top 10 states nationally in the rate of women killed by men. The state topped the list on three occasions, including this past year, when it posted a murder rate for women that was more than double the national ...

Read more ...

Local police involved in 400 killings per year

Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012, according to the most recent accounts of justifiable homicide reported to the FBI.

On average, there were 96 such incidents among at least 400 police killings each year that were reported to the FBI by local police. The numbers appear to show that the shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., last Saturday was not an isolated event in American policing.

Read the USA TODAY story here.

Extra Extra Monday: LAPD turns violent crimes into minor offenses, Florida police bend rules on sex stings

Want to analyze crime stats in your community?

Learn how to get started on our podcast episode, "Cracking the Crime Stats." Steve Thompson of the Dallas Morning News and Ben Poston of the Los Angeles Times explain how to spot red flags in the data.

LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes as minor offenses | Los Angeles Times

The LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes during a one-year span ending in September 2013, including hundreds of stabbings, beatings and robberies, a Times investigation found.

The incidents were recorded as minor offenses and as a result did not appear in ...

Read more ...

In rush to find lethal injection drug, prison officials turned to a hospital

When the Louisiana Department of Corrections didn’t have the drugs it needed to execute inmate Christopher Sepulvado this January it turned to an unusual source: a hospital.

According to The Lens, the state bought 20 vials of hydromorphone from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital a week before Sepulvado’s execution. The hospital typically uses the drug to ease the suffering of patients. The private, nonprofit hospital didn’t know the drug was going to be used for an execution.

Read the story here.

 

Want to learn more about covering execution secrecy?

Journalists from four states recently joined IRE to discuss ...

Read more ...

For a million fugitives, freedom starts at county line

Across the United States, local police are routinely allowing well over a million fugitives to escape justice simply by moving to another county in the same state, often just a few miles from where they allegedly committed their crimes, a USA TODAY investigation shows. The fugitives include thousands wanted for domestic violence, sexual abuse, manslaughter, repeat drunken driving and even rape.

 

Learn more about this series

Go behind the story and learn how USA TODAY reporter Brad Heath pieced together a confidential FBI database to count fugitives who go free.

Prosecutors question police shooting that killed 4, decline to file charges

An investigation by WTVJ-South Florida has raised questions about a botched police sting three years ago. Officers in 2011 shot and killed four men – including their own confidential informant – during the raid. No charges were filed against the officers. Now prosecutors say they’re not sure if they deaths were justified.

Watch the station’s thee-part series, which includes video of the shootings: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3