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Bringing The Case In... By Force

Bringing The Case In... By Force

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/93598134/93597380" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Justice Department identified government scientist Bruce Ivins as the man responsible for the anthrax attacks that killed five people in 2001 — but he took his own life before he could be charged. His lawyer has insisted that not only was he innocent, but that it's possible it was the pressure of the investigation that drove him to suicide. Pressure like following Ivins, searching his home, interrogating his family — even showing his kids pictures of the anthrax victims. Tough stuff, but all legal. A previous suspect, Steven Hatfill, was subjected to even more relentless tactics — and eventually agreed he was paid millions to settle a lawsuit. Today, we're looking at the ethical boundaries of such investigations — it's just tough tactics when pressure is applied to a guilty person, but it's harassment when an innocent, like Hatfill, is subjected to them. Where's the line?

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