Courts

The Codcast: Probation, patronage, and power struggles

Patronage, no matter how blatant or unsavory, is not a crime. At least that’s what a federal appeals court ruled recently in overturning the convictions of former Probation commissioner Jack O’Brien and two of his colleagues, who doled out jobs at the agency to curry favor with lawmakers. William Fick, one of the attorneys who(...)

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Death of a cancer lab

Death of a cancer lab

Once-thriving publicly funded research program driven into bankruptcy by questionable characters

FEW PLACES HAVE the resources and brain power to match Boston when it comes to biomedical research, including the search for effective ways to treat and prevent cancer. Internationally renowned hospitals, combined with some of the leading universities in the world, make the region a magnet for top researchers and the funding that fuels their(...)

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Crime and punishment

Crime and punishment

What’s the right thing to do with an 18-year-old caught with a gun?

Photographs by Mark Ostow DIANE MCMANUS SAYS her youngest child, Timothy, is “no street kid.” He was “raised in the church,” she says, a respectful son who minded the rules she set down, even as a teenager growing up in a rough patch of Dorchester off Blue Hill Avenue. But while Diane McManus was out(...)

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Dealing fairly with pretrial detainees

Dealing fairly with pretrial detainees

Using risk-based assessments, we could improve justice, lower crime, and save taxpayers money

IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, but there is a tested way to improve the fairness of our justice system while saving taxpayers money and lowering crime. The solution is to make data-driven decisions about individuals who get arrested to determine which ones should remain in jail while awaiting trial and which ones should(...)

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