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Joaquin Sapien

Joaquin Sapien
Read Joaquin Sapien's e-book, Missing: A Boy and the Evidence Against His Accused Killer, on your Kindle or mobile device.

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Since joining ProPublica in May 2008, reporter Joaquin Sapien has delved into criminal justice, military healthcare, and environmental issues. In 2010 he partnered with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to produce an award-winning series of stories about contaminated drywall. In 2009 he was part of a team whose work on natural gas drilling won the Society of Professional Journalists award for online non-deadline investigative reporting. From 2005 until 2008 he was a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, where he led a year-long investigative project, “Superfund’s Toxic Legacy,” which received the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists award for non-deadline online reporting. Before joining CPI, Sapien wrote for Environmental Media Services.

Articles

Brooklyn Man Walks Out of Court, Cleared of Murder After 24 Years in Prison

Jonathan Fleming and his family were overjoyed today after the Brooklyn District Attorney dismissed murder charges against him based on evidence withheld at his 1990 trial.

Brooklyn DA Moves to Free Man after Long-Buried Evidence Surfaces

Jonathan Fleming has served more than 24 years in prison for a 1989 murder. Now it has emerged that law enforcement had evidence all along showing he was in Florida at the time of the shooting.

In Etan Patz Case, The Verdict Is…

Nearly two years after Pedro Hernandez was arrested for murdering Etan Patz, he has yet to have an essential hearing on whether the central evidence against him is even admissible.

Are You Etan Patz?

Even with a suspect awaiting trial for the murder of Etan Patz, the FBI last month still chased down a tip that America’s most famous missing child was still alive.

Guards May Be Responsible for Half of Prison Sexual Assaults

A Department of Justice study also shows the number of reports of sexual assaults is rising, but rarely results in prosecution.

Guarded Optimism

After years of frustration and delay, some hope in the fight against sex abuse in the nation’s juvenile jails.

For Brooklyn Prosecutor, a Troubled Last Term, and a Trail of Lingering Questions

It may take years to assess the lasting damage of Charles J. Hynes’ final term as Brooklyn district attorney.

Missing: A Boy and The Evidence Against His Accused Killer

Three decades after 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared, police suddenly had a suspect. Then they chose not to record his interrogation, a decision that could affect their case.

Polarizing Brooklyn Prosecutor Retires Amid Scrutiny

Top Brooklyn prosecutor Michael Vecchione is retiring his post after a career spanning more than two decades. He leaves a troubling legacy, including allegations that he convicted an innocent man of murder in a case that could cost New York City millions.

For Prosecutor Under Fire, A Verdict at the Polls

It’s been nearly 60 years since an incumbent district attorney in New York City has been removed from office via the vote. Joe Hynes in Brooklyn could be in danger of breaking the streak.

In Effort to End Prison Rape, Questions About a Monitor’s Independence

It took years to enact tougher standards for investigating and punishing sexual violence in the nation’s jails and prisons. Now, there is frustration over how those reforms will be enforced.

A Powerful Legal Tool, and Its Potential for Abuse

For years, prosecutors in New York have been using what are known as material witness orders to compel testimony from reluctant witnesses in criminal trials. But has the power to persuade led to coercion and tainted convictions?

Boys in Custody and the Women Who Abuse Them

The nation’s system of juvenile justice has long been troubled. But recent studies have revealed a surprising new menace: female staffers at detention facilities sexually abusing the male youngsters in their care.

Watching the Detectives: Will Probe of Cop’s Cases Extend to Prosecutors?

A review of 50 Brooklyn murder prosecutions could free men from prison and ruin the reputation of the former detective who helped make the cases. Some insist the prosecutors who worked alongside the accused detective should not be spared scrutiny.

Objection Overruled: Top Prosecutor Must Testify in Wrongful Conviction Case

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will be deposed by the lawyer for a man who has accused Hynes of running an office where misconduct is condoned, even rewarded. Hynes, who has denied the allegation, had sought to avoid answering questions under oath, but a federal judge ruled that he must.

Time Out: Federal Complaint Alleges Rampant Abuse in Texas Truancy Program

Students are handcuffed, often jailed. Fines can reach into the thousands of dollars. Accused students and their families are never provided with legal counsel. According to a complaint seeking federal intervention, that is the strange and possibly illegal world of the Dallas County truancy court.

Rape and Other Sexual Violence Prevalent in Juvenile Justice System

The greatest rates of sexual assaults in the country’s juvenile detention facilities involve the very staff members charged with supervising and counseling the troubled youngsters.

A Prosecutor, a Wrongful Conviction and a Question of Justice

Jabbar Collins spent 16 years in prison for murder before he won his freedom and a chance to take on the man who put him behind bars. ProPublica examines the career of that prosecutor, Michael Vecchione, the allegations against him, and what strikes many as an inexplicable lack of accountability.

Lasting Damage: A Rogue Prosecutor’s Final Case

Claude Stuart, after a career full of trouble as a prosecutor in Queens, finally went too far when he lied to a judge in an effort to convict a man of murder.

Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody

The innocent can wind up in prison. The guilty can be set free. But New York City prosecutors who withhold evidence, tolerate false testimony or commit other abuses almost never see their careers damaged.
Joaquin Sapien
Read Joaquin Sapien's e-book, Missing: A Boy and the Evidence Against His Accused Killer, on your Kindle or mobile device.

Contact Info

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

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