Aarti Shahani was an intern at ProPublica. She was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she graduated in 2011 with a masters degree in public policy. She has contributed to outlets including The Washington Post, NPR, Salon.com, New America Media and ColorLines. Her interests are criminal justice, immigration and social entrepreneurship. As a News21 fellow at Arizona's Cronkite School of Journalism, she reported on transportation safety. Shahani was born in Casablanca to Indian parents and grew up in Flushing, Queens.
Closing arguments were heard today in the headline-making trial of several current or former New Orleans police officers involved in a notorious incident on the Danziger Bridge in which two civilians were killed and four more were wounded.
The Casey Anthony trial riveted America, with many TV experts and viewers near-certain of the young mother’s guilt. But with no eyewitnesses or confession, the case demonstrated how difficult it was to prove how 2-year-old Caylee died to a scientific certainty.
The case brought by federal prosecutors represents a critical test for the New Orleans Police Department, which has faced repeated criminal investigations and official inquiries concerning use of force and cover-ups.
As part of an ongoing look into the troubled state of death investigation, ProPublica, PBS "Frontline" and NPR identified nearly two dozen cases in the U.S. and Canada in which people have been accused of killing children based on flawed or biased work by forensic pathologists, then later cleared.