investigations

Kyle Dewitt, Ionia, Mich. 

  • Offense: Caught a fish out of season.
  • Punishment: Three days in jail.
  • About this case: Then 19, Dewitt had just lost his job; he says he couldn’t afford the original $155 fine. The court offered him payment plans, but he says he never received the letter.
  • Court debt: More than $215.

A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. Here are just some of the people we found as part of this story. 

Adopted girl says mother forced her to dig her own grave

(Photo: Reuters)

A Tennessee woman says that when her adoptive parents gave her away to new parents at age 14, she and 17 other adoptive kids in her “nightmarish” new home were sometimes forced to dig their own “graves” in the backyard and scrub the floor with toothbrushes.

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Editor’s Note: Today’s stories are the first in a series of online and broadcast reports on adoption by Reuters and NBC News.

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Von Karma is really terrible at hiding that he hates this kid

actually what’s kind of disturbing is this came out of absolutely nowhere, but Miles doesn’t make his shocked face, there’s just an awkward silence. Which implies this sort of random outburst has happened before, probably several times, and Miles has just accepted it as part of his life.  Like they’ll just be talking and Miles will say something like “I will make you proud” and Manfried will be like “YOU ARE A PIECE OF TRASH” and then like remember himself and continue on like nothing happened and Miles will just have to brush it off like “ahhh sometimes he just says things to toughen me up” or “he lost his temper i guess I have to work harder” and wow, having to deal with that from the person raising you for years…

And then on Franziska’s side, he just doesn’t pay much attention to her as she’s clearly working her ass off to please him, just focusing on Miles, so at the time she’s burningly jealous and resentful of Miles, she’s witnessing these weird angry outbursts at Miles and it’s clear it at least makes her mildly uncomfortable, considering how she changes the subject quickly here and then actually does Miles a solid in her own way. 

sad prosecutor babies :(

  • Virginia Dickerson, Richland, WA
  • Offense: Drug convictions.
  • Punishment: Been to jail three times to pay off fines.
  • About this case: Dickerson, 34, has been drug-free for more than three years. She’s working two restaurant jobs and still struggles to pay her fines, fees and interest to avoid going back to jail.
  • Court debt: Almost $10,000.

A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. Here are just some of the people we found as part of this story. 

Miles must have been great at Christmas as a kid.

like before he died his dad dressed up as Santa once to try to give Miles a magical experience and Miles was like “HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE. BREAKING AND ENTERING? I CANNOT OVERLOOK THIS. I’M GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE YOU TO COURT, SANTA”.

And his dad actually had to run away and you can bet he never did that again.

  • Stephen Papa, Grand Rapids, Mich. 
  • Offense: Destruction of property and resisting arrest.
  • Punishment: 22 days in jail.
  • About this case: After coming back from the Iraq War, Papa was unable to find a job and was homeless. In court, the judge requested $50 as a first payment, but Papa had only $25.
  • Court debt: $2,600.

A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. Here are just some of the people we found as a part of this story. 

‘A big hoax’: Experts say North Korea showing off missiles that can’t fly

(Photo: M.L. Flynn / NBC News)

Missiles paraded through the streets of Pyongyang in recent displays of North Korean military might –  said to be capable of hitting targets throughout Asia and even in the U.S. – are incapable of flight and are almost certainly nothing more than fakes, according to U.S. government experts and independent analysts. 

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SHOULD IT PHYSICALLY HURT TO WATCH THIS!?!

Danny Bearden, Tunnel Hill, Ga.

  • Offense: Breaking into a trailer.
  • Punishment: Two years in prison.
  • About this case: In 1981, when Bearden could not afford to pay his fines and restitution, he was sent to jail. Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bearden v. Georgia that judges can’t jail people just because they are too poor to pay their fines.
  • Court debt: $750.

yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. Here are just some of the people we found as part of this story.

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Franziska :’)

You know her saying she’d lie in court is literally the hugest favor she can do someone in her mind too. And you know she sees a little girl who loves her dad so much and just lost him and she knows how she would feel (WILL FEEL D’:) so she’s telling Kay the thing she’d love most to hear in the world, “you’re a good daughter, you’d make your father proud, way to go kid.”