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Ryan Gabrielson

Reporter

Photo of Ryan Gabrielson

Ryan Gabrielson is a reporter for ProPublica covering the U.S. justice system. In 2013, his stories for the Center for Investigative Reporting on violent crimes at California’s board-and-care institutions for the developmentally disabled were a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Previously, he was a reporter at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Arizona. In 2009, he and Tribune colleague Paul Giblin won a Pulitzer Prize for stories that exposed how immigration enforcement by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office undermined investigations and emergency response. Gabrielson's work has received numerous national honors, including two George Polk Awards, a Livingston Award for national reporting, the Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting and a pair of Sigma Delta Chi Awards. He was a 2009-2010 investigative reporting fellow at UC Berkeley. A Phoenix native, Gabrielson studied journalism at the University of Arizona.

California Tried to Fix Its Prisons. Now County Jails Are More Deadly.

In a 48-hour stretch during January 2018, three men were booked into the Fresno County Jail. One was beaten into a coma. Two died soon afterward. Their cases kicked off a nightmarish year in a local jail where problems trace back to California’s sweeping 2011 prison downsizing and criminal justice reforms.

FBI Scientist’s Statements Linked Defendants to Crimes, Even When His Lab Results Didn’t

Court records and FBI Lab files show statements by prosecutors or Richard Vorder Bruegge, the most prominent member of the Forensic Audio, Video and Image Analysis Unit, veered from his original conclusions in at least three cases.

What Do You Know About County Jails in California? Talk to Us.

ProPublica and The Sacramento Bee are spending the year reporting on resources, safety and crowding in California county jails.

The FBI Says Its Photo Analysis Is Scientific Evidence. Scientists Disagree.

The bureau’s image unit has linked defendants to crime photographs for decades using unproven techniques and baseless statistics. Studies have begun to raise doubts about the unit’s methods.

Prominent Texas Surgeon Sues ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle

Bud Frazier, a pioneer in the development of artificial hearts, filed a libel suit alleging he was “falsely” portrayed in two articles exploring alleged lapses in research and ethical practices.

Legal Footnote: You Have to Look Hard to See the Supreme Court Correct Its Mistakes

When the justices err, care is taken not to call attention to the mishaps. Some think that’s its own mistake.

Suspect Evidence Informed a Momentous Supreme Court Decision on Criminal Sentencing

The U.S. Sentencing Commission helped send more people to prison for longer terms. It’s a shame it was created to address a nonexistent crisis. Here’s how the Supreme Court got misled.

It’s a Fact: Supreme Court Errors Aren’t Hard to Find

A ProPublica review adds fuel to a longstanding worry about the nation’s highest court: The justices can botch the truth, sometimes in cases of great import.

Trump’s Pardon Aside, Reporters Have Built Long Rap Sheet Against Sheriff Joe

Trump hailed Joe Arpaio’s “admirable service” in Arizona. There’s more to his career than that.

The Joe Arpaio I Knew

The former Maricopa County sheriff made his name in part by targeting immigrants — even after a judge ordered him to stop. As President Trump considers a pardon, it’s worth remembering precisely what Arpaio did in his decades in law enforcement.

Houston Police End Use of Drug Tests That Helped Produce Wrongful Convictions

The cheap kits were often the sole evidence used to win guilty pleas, against the innocent as well the as guilty.

Another Startling Verdict for Forensic Science

A recent study on the reliability of hair analysis is only latest to shake public confidence.

How Jeff Sessions Helped Kill Equitable School Funding in Alabama

A lawsuit in the 1990s had Alabama poised to fund poor black school districts as fairly as wealthy white schools. As state attorney general, Sessions fought the effort passionately.

Texas Panel on Wrongful Convictions Calls for Ending Use of Unverified Drug Field Tests

A commission established by lawmakers to help end the conviction of the innocent says field tests are too unreliable to be trusted without lab confirmation.

Vegas Prosecutors Seek Help in Identifying Convictions Won With Faulty Drug Tests

Request to defense attorneys suggests concern about integrity of guilty pleas won via $2 police tests known to be prone to error.

Street Hustle: The Truth Behind the ‘New’ Police Tool for Confronting Fentanyl Menace

Drug test manufacturer repackages old, error-prone chemical formula as cutting-edge product

Prosecutors in Portland Change Policy on Drug Convictions

No guilty plea for drug possession will stand in Multnomah County unless the preliminary police field tests used to make arrests are confirmed in a lab.

Confusion Over Drug Tests Highlights Lack of Training for Florida Officers

A series of embarrassments suggests Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office could use some instruction on using and interpreting field tests that have resulted in thousands of drug arrests in recent years.

Defense Lawyers in Las Vegas Consider Formal Challenge to Use of Field Tests in Drug Prosecutions

Local defense bar explores options after ProPublica investigation showed that police and prosecutors continue to use flawed drug tests in sending thousands to jail.

Unreliable and Unchallenged

Years after the Las Vegas crime lab wanted to replace faulty police drug kits, they are still used in thousands of convictions.

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