Jim Atkinson

Stories

How Safe Are You?

Rating the police departments of Texas’ major cities.

The Proving Ground

Probation gives criminals a chance to show society that they can stay straight. Probation officers like Jan Purdom believe the system works.

The Proving Ground

Probation gives criminals a chance to show society that they can stay straight. Probation officers like Jan Purdom believe the system works.

The Box

Used correctly, the polygraph can tell whether or not an accused criminal’s claim that he didn’t do it is true. Too bad the police can’t take that to court.

The Box

Used correctly, the polygraph can tell whether or not an accused criminal’s claim that he didn’t do it is true. Too bad the police can’t take that to court.

The Lord’s Work

Rusty Hardin is a prosecutor. Most of the time, his job is to put people in jail. This time, he wants a man dead.

The Lord’s Work

Rusty Hardin is a prosecutor. Most of the time, his job is to put people in jail. This time, he wants a man dead.

The Cons Next Door

To unjam its prisons, Texas is moving convicted felons out of the big house and into a house on your block.

Cattle Call

Trial by jury is a right most people charged with a crime never get to exercise. Instead, they accept a quicker, less risky alternative: the plea bargain.

Cattle Call

Trial by jury is a right most people charged with a crime never get to exercise. Instead, they accept a quicker, less risky alternative: the plea bargain.

Cruel and Unusual Parenthood

Every year thousands of men and women assault, molest, or murder innocent victims - their own children.

Cruel and Unusual Parenthood

Every year thousands of men and women assault, molest, or murder innocent victims - their own children.

The Long Arm of the Oracle

John Catchings can sole crimes without witnesses, confessions, or clues. How? He’s a psychic.

The Long Arm of the Oracle

John Catchings can sole crimes without witnesses, confessions, or clues. How? He’s a psychic.

Lock ‘Em Up

Mandatory sentencing means every felon gets the same sentence for the same crime - and for the rest of us it means a lot of crimes that won’t happen.

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