Megan Rose

Reporter

Photo of Megan Rose

Megan Rose, formerly Megan McCloskey, has investigated criminal justice and the military for ProPublica since 2013. She won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting with two colleagues for a series examining how Navy and Marine Corps leadership failed to heed warnings and implement reforms leading up to several fatal accidents.

Rose has also examined the billions of dollars wasted by the U.S. government in Afghanistan and how the Pentagon was failing in its efforts to find and identify missing service members from past wars. In a series investigating prosecutorial misconduct, she exposed how rather than exonerating wrongfully convicted defendants, prosecutors instead pushed a little known plea deal that left innocent men with a record.

Rose’s work at ProPublica and elsewhere has resulted in several falsely convicted men clearing their records, Congressional inquiries, and high-level leadership changes.

Previously Rose was a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, reporting from the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, a disaster zone in Haiti, and U.S. military bases in Asia. She also worked for the Associated Press both domestically and abroad.

She graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in journalism and political science, and has received the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Award, a White House Correspondents’ Association award and the Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence, and was twice a finalist for the Livingston Award.

Rose lives in Washington with her husband and son.

Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by its Own Navy

Investigation finds officials ignored warnings for years before one of the deadliest crashes in decades.

Baltimore to Pay Largest Settlement in City History — $9 Million — to Man Wrongfully Convicted of Murder

James Owens, who was featured in a ProPublica investigation last year, sued police detectives for the alleged misconduct that landed him in prison for 21 years. Prosecutors had tried to make him take a controversial plea deal.

Video: This Obscure Plea Deal Offers Freedom to the Wrongfully Convicted at a Huge Cost

A confounding case in Baltimore shows just how far prosecutors will go to keep a win on the books — even at the expense of an innocent man.

Baltimore Judge Tosses Alford Plea, Rebuking Prosecutor

Demetrius Smith has long maintained he pleaded guilty to a shooting he did not commit. Now, over the prosecutor's objections, his conviction has been set aside.

Innocent But Still Guilty

Inmates are sometimes offered freedom in exchange for pleading guilty to a crime they probably didn’t commit. It’s a bad deal.

Baltimore Prosecutor Admits He Was Wrong to Block Request to Alter Alford Plea

A ProPublica story last month pointed out that the prosecutor had given up his right to veto changes to the unusual plea deal. Demetrius Smith, who was wrongfully convicted of murder when he agreed to the deal, will get a new hearing.

A Dubious Arrest, a Compromised Prosecutor, a Tainted Plea: How One Murder Case Exposes a Broken System

One innocent man’s odyssey through the justice system shows the cascading, and enduring, effects of a bad conviction.

Nevada Pardons Wrongfully Convicted Man Featured in Our Story

The pardon clears Fred Steese’s name after state prosecutors had pushed him into an arcane plea deal even though a judge had declared he was innocent. “I’m not a felon anymore,” Steese said.

Vegas Judge Featured in ProPublica Story Reprimanded for Ethics Violations

Judge William Kephart, who was repeatedly criticized for misconduct as a prosecutor and put at least one innocent person in prison, has been censured for a lapse on the bench.

Senator: Someone Needs to Be Fired Over Wasted $65 Million Plane

Sen. Chuck Grassley tells the Defense secretary “if heads don’t roll nothing changes.” The plane, which never flew a mission in Afghanistan, is part of a pattern of billions in military waste documented by ProPublica in 2015.

The Freedom Plea: How Prosecutors Deny Exonerations by Dangling the Prison Keys

New evidence pointed to innocence in the cases of these four Baltimore men, yet prosecutors would only let them go if they agreed to controversial plea deals.

What Does an Innocent Man Have to Do to Go Free? Plead Guilty.

A case in Baltimore — in which two men were convicted of the same murder and cleared by DNA 20 years later — shows how far prosecutors will go to preserve a conviction.

Nevada Passes Modest Measures to Curb Prosecutorial Misconduct

Lobbying by prosecutors and police guts law that would have punished prosecutors who didn’t share evidence with defense. Debate cited case of Fred Steese, subject of ProPublica and Vanity Fair story.

Kafka in Vegas

Fred Steese served more than 20 years in prison for the murder of a Vegas showman even though evidence in the prosecution’s files proved he didn’t do it. But when the truth came to light, he was offered a confounding deal known as an Alford plea. If he took it he could go free, but he’d remain a convicted killer.

Vegas Judge Had Long History of Prosecutorial Misconduct

The behavior of Bill Kephart, who led the murder prosecution of Fred Steese, was repeatedly lambasted by the Supreme Court of Nevada. But that didn’t stop him from becoming a judge. This month he was charged with misconduct in that position too.

Our Military Waste Game Suddenly Seems Prophetic

With Trump pushing to give the U.S. military another $52 billion, a game we built two years ago to put the billions wasted in Afghanistan in perspective seems particularly relevant.

Even Suspended Ban Puts Iraqi Interpreter’s Carefully Built American Dream At Risk

An interpreter risked his life working for the U.S. Marines. Now, after eight years in the U.S., his Michigan export business is suffering because it's too risky to leave the country.

Lawmakers to Pentagon: Goats, Carpets and Jewelry Helped Afghanistan How?

At a Senate hearing this week, lawmakers questioned whether a Pentagon business task force had accomplished anything worthwhile.

Afghanistan Waste Exhibit A: Kajaki Dam, More Than $300M Spent and Still Not Done

A Senate subcommittee is looking at waste by a Pentagon task force. It would do well to review the reasons why a major hydroelectric power plant sits unfinished.

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan With ‘Limited Progress’

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has labelled yet another project in danger of failing. This time its U.S. plans to develop the country’s oil, gas and minerals industries.

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica