Brett Murphy


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Brett Murphy is a reporter on ProPublica’s national desk. His work uncovering a new junk science in the justice system known as 911 call analysis won a George Polk Award, among other honors. Murphy joined the newsroom in May 2022, after working as an investigative reporter at USA Today, where he covered labor, criminal justice and the federal government.

Murphy has won several national journalism awards, including the International Livingston Award for his investigation into a U.S. military attack on its own security forces in Afghanistan, which killed dozens of civilians, including as many as 60 children. He and a team shared a Hillman Prize for their series on whistleblower retaliation inside police departments. Murphy’s stories on widespread labor abuses in California’s port trucking industry was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize and spurred a raft of reforms.

Before USA Today, Murphy covered courts and hurricanes for the Naples Daily News and other Gannett newspapers. He also co-founded the “Local Matters” newsletter, a weekly roundup of the best investigative and watchdog reporting from local newsrooms around the country.

Murphy is based in Brooklyn.

Blinken Says Israeli Units Accused of Serious Violations Have Done Enough to Avoid Sanctions. Experts and Insiders Disagree.

The secretary of state told Congress that Israel had adequately punished a soldier who got community service for killing an unarmed Palestinian. Government officials call it a “mockery” and inconsistent with the law.

Netanyahu Resists U.S. Plan to Cut Off Aid to Israeli Military Unit

After months of inaction, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is poised to bar U.S. aid to an Israeli unit accused of human rights abuses.

Blinken Is Sitting on Staff Recommendations to Sanction Israeli Military Units Linked to Killings or Rapes

A special State Department panel told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the U.S. should restrict arms sales to Israeli military units that have been credibly accused of human rights abuses. He has not taken any action.

A “Delicate Matter”: Clarence Thomas’ Private Complaints About Money Sparked Fears He Would Resign

Interviews and newly unearthed documents reveal that Thomas, facing financial strain, privately pushed for a higher salary and to allow Supreme Court justices to take speaking fees.

The Judiciary Has Policed Itself for Decades. It Doesn’t Work.

The secretive Judicial Conference is tasked with self-governance. The group, led by the Supreme Court’s chief justice, has spent decades preserving perks, defending judges and thwarting outside oversight.

The Supreme Court Has Adopted a Conduct Code, but Who Will Enforce It?

Experts say it is unclear if the new rules, which come after reporting by ProPublica and others revealed that justices had repeatedly failed to disclose gifts and travel from wealthy donors, would address the issues raised by the recent revelations.

Clarence Thomas’ 38 Vacations: The Other Billionaires Who Have Treated the Supreme Court Justice to Luxury Travel

The fullest accounting yet shows how Thomas has secretly reaped the benefits from a network of wealthy and well-connected patrons that is far more extensive than previously understood.

Clarence Thomas’ Friend Acknowledges That Billionaire Harlan Crow Paid Tuition for the Child Thomas Was Raising “as a Son”

In response to ProPublica reporting, the friend said Crow covered two years of schooling for the teen, which would amount to roughly $100,000 of undisclosed gifts. Meanwhile, Democrats renewed calls for judicial ethics overhaul.

Fiscales de Nueva York ignoraron evidencia contaminada utilizada durante años contra conductores hispanohablantes

Las advertencias por Conducir en Estado de Ebriedad mal traducidas utilizadas en el Condado Westchester habrían presionado a algunos conductores a someterse a pruebas de alcoholemia. La oficina del fiscal de distrito tardó tres años en investigar.

New York Prosecutors Ignored Tainted Evidence Used Against Spanish-Speaking Drivers for Years

Mistranslated DWI warnings used in Westchester County may have pressured some drivers into taking a Breathalyzer test. The district attorney’s office didn’t investigate for three years.

Ethics Watchdog Urges Justice Department Investigation Into Clarence Thomas’ Trips

In pushing to kick-start an inquiry into Thomas’ lavish travel provided by a GOP megadonor, the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center wrote that the ethics issue has “historic implications far beyond one Supreme Court justice.”

Prosecutors and Judges Push for Conviction Reviews, Ban on Junk Science of 911 Call Analysis

Following a ProPublica investigation, attorneys have called for punishing prosecutors who used the technique knowing it was inadmissible in court. One conviction gets another look.

The Community of Mothers Who Lost Sons to Police Killings

In the wake of Tyre Nichols, a mother discusses the familiar role of grieving with purpose.

Is It Forensics or Is It Junk Science?

Dubious forensic techniques have spread throughout the criminal justice system for decades. Here’s what ProPublica has learned about junk forensic science techniques and how they proliferate.

They Called 911 for Help. Police and Prosecutors Used a New Junk Science to Decide They Were Liars.

Tracing the fallacy of 911 call analysis through the justice system, from Quantico to the courtroom.

How Jessica Logan’s Call for Help Became Evidence Against Her

After her baby died in the night, a young mother called 911. Police thought they could read her mind just by listening. Now she’s haunted by the words she chose.

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