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tv   CNN Presents  CNN  August 11, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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tonight on "cnn presents," is mississippi still burning? a shocking crime. accusations of a sinister motive. >> there's no doubt they were looking for a black victim to assault. and even kill in this instance. twisted justice? >> i just saw him up with the bat, and he started to swing. that's when i reached for the gun. >> this new rk city cop says he fired to save his father's life. >> i was convicted of second-degree murder. >> but he would walk free after that conviction was overturned. so how did he end up back in prison? >> you must have been crushed, crushed when they told you you
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had to go back. prescription for cheating. they read our x-rays, but a cnn investigation reveals a disturbing question over the certification of many radiologists. >> isn't it cheating? >> revealing investigations, fascinating characters, stories with impact. this is "cnn presents"ith tonight's host randi kaye and drew griffin. tonight, hard hitting investigations involving racism and cheating and injustice. we begin with a murder in mississippi. a brutal killing fueled by race and rage. we broke the shocking story here on cnn of a young, white teenager accused of killing a black man just because of the color of his skin. >> over our four-month investigation, we found even more disturbing details uncovering how the teenager and some of his friends had a history of violent and racist incidents and raising questions
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whether authorities turned a blind eye. i've been following this story from the very beginning. june 26th in mississippi would bring temperatures and humidity into the 90s. a breeze out of the southwest would barely move the state flag enough to see that confederate battle symbol. still displayed in its upper left corner. at 4:00 a.m. on this sunday morning, most of mississippi was still asleep. but for a group of teenagers, white teenagers barreling west on interstate 20, a mission was already under way. they were headed to jackson because in their segregated world, jackson is where the black people live.
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>> they were looking for black people. they were loing for a black person to assault. >> mississippi's heinz county district attorney robert schuller smith says evidence shows those white mississippi teens had just one thing in mind. >> they discussed let's go get -- let's be honest here, let's go get a nigger, right? >> that's exactly what it will show. >> it was still dark when james craig anderson walked out of a motel towards his car in a parking lot off jackson's ellis avenue. smith says that's when the white teenagers saw him. james, a black man, alone. it is hard to imagine what happened next without using the term hate. the teenagers were mostly white in rankin county were being led by an 18-year-old named daryl
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dedmon, according to police. dedmon had a history of harassing teens at his high school by several accounts from parents and students who knew him, he hated blacks, hated white people who had black friends. he hated anyone he thought was gay. and on this sunday morning, after a night of drinking, he and his friends, witnesses have told police, were out to the act on that hate. some of the teens there that night would tell police the teenagers attacked that lone black man without any provocation, repeatedly beating anderson, yelling white power. then one of the vehicles drives off. daryl dedmon apparently wasn't through. he had two girls in his truck as he was leaving this parking lot, a big f-250 pickup truck. james craig anderson, the man who was beaten almost to a pulp, was stumbling down this curb.
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that's when police say daryl dedmon hit the gas, jumped the curb and ran right over his victim, smashing him. but what he didn't know was the entire episode was being caught on a surveillance camera on the corner of this hotel. this is what was caught on that tape, obtained exclusively by cnn and we warn you, it is disturbing. james craig anderson first comes into view in the lower right corner of the screen after he was beaten, according to police. he staggers into the headlights of mr. dedmon's truck. his white shirt easily visible. then the truck backs up, surges forward, the headlights glowing brightly on anderson's shirt before he and that shirt disappear underneath it. the truck runs right over the defenseless man. after he does that, he drives to
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a mcdonald's, he picks up the phone, apparently calls a buddy and says what? >> according to the testimony, "i ran that nigger over." >> witnesses say he almost was bragging about it. that he was laughing about it really. >> that's what we plan to present. >> daryl dedmon pleaded not guilty at first. his attorney has refused to answer cnn's many calls for comment. though during one court appearance, that attorney said he didn't see any evidence racism was invved. the district attorney says nothing else was involved. he classified this as capital murder and a hate crime. you would think it would be a wake-up call for any town where that kind of hate could fester. but this is brandon, mississippi. think again. >> it's just an unfortunate incident.
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it happened, but, you know, once it happened, we haven't gone into you know, code red, oh, my god, we've got a major problem. let's stop traffic and everybody needs to go home and lock their doors. we just kind of keep going, doing what we do. >> here where a confederate war memorial stands at the center of town, the police say there were no warning signs. but we found the police were wrong. cnn has learned investigators were looking into allegations daryl dedmon and his friends had a pattern of racism and violence. how did they get away with this? >> they just never got in trouble. like, they would be told on and the cops wouldn't do anything to them. they'd let them go. >> school officials ever intervene? >> no. let them go. >> coming up, did a town's indifference help lead to murder?
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the death of james craig anderson was like the dark mississippi past come back to life. prosecutor robert smith had only heard the tales of racial hatred from his grandfather, who helped and even housed civil rights leaders like medgar evers and dr. martin luther king, jr. it was before smith was even born back in the '60s when both men were shot down in a terrible wave of racial violence.
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on june 26th of last year, that ugly past was suddenly present. when you first saw the video, the surveillance video, what was your reaction? >> certainly breathtaking, unbelievable. thought about the fact that that could have been anyone, including myself. >> the district attorney at first charged deryl dedmon, the teen driving the truck that killed anderson with capital murder. a second teen, john rice, was charged with simple assault. five other white teenagers who were there were not charged. anderson's family has kept their grief and their frustration mostly private. but after a court hearing, anderson's sister could not contain her emotions. >> go to brandon, mississippi!
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go to brandon, mississippi, and get those other five murderers who committed such a horrendous violent act against my beloved brother, james craig anderson! >> you have to drive east to brandon, across the pearl river, the invisible line that seems to separate black mississippi from white. and while in jackson, anderson's killing prompted marches and a call for healing, in brandon the reaction was mostly silent. brandon police wouldn't even return cnn's phone calls. >> is the chief in? >> it was an assistant police chief who finally came out to say there was no story here. are you concerned a lot of these kids are from rankin county? not just one or two, but there were seven of them who drover there and took part in this. >> you're right. i can't -- you know, you're going to have a couple bad seeds. one guy ran over the individual, not all six.
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so, you know, i can't -- i hate that it happened. i wish to god it didn't happen. here or anywhere. but as far as it being, you know, we have a national problem, we don't have any more problem than any other city. it's just an isolated incident, and you can quote me on that. >> but it didn't take us long to find out it wasn't an isolated incident. deryl dedmon had a criminal history, arrested and convicted of harassment earlier last year. two years ago, this local pastor says he had to call police when his son was being harassed. >> and i had told jordan for a year and a half that deryl dedmon will kill you. >> he had a look of no conscience.
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he was blank stare. deryl always, i think, just carried around this backpack of hatred. >> other students also told us they were bullied or beaten by dedmon and his friends who called people nigger lovers if they befriended blacks. we were told school administrators mostly looked the other way as bullying and racial hatred festered. school officials declined our interview request, but a spokesperson told cnn they take bullying seriously and that they had no record of any trouble from deryl dedmon. students told us dedmon and his friends were a problem, using racial slurs, calling blacks and even president obama the "n" word. ken johnson used to manage a gas station where dedmon and his friends used to hang out. >> it was like every word that came out of their mouth was the "n" word.
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and that they're taking over, as if it was some kind of war. >> dedmon's family refused to talk to cnn. so did dedmon's attorney. this man did. once close to dedmon and his friends, he now fears them. >> i believe that every one of these kids are dangerous and are capable of many things. i just don't want my image to be seen because i'm really worried about it. >> this man told us there were other violent and racial incidents with dedmon and other friends of his. do they ever go looking for black people? hunting, literally. >> yes, they're known as the, like i said the brandon boys. but they're also known as the racist kids. the white group. >> cnn has learned federal investigators from the department of justice have uncovered two other possible
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incidents where groups of white rankin county teens, including dedmon, have sought out and attacked a black person. have you guys been concerned about these guys, not at all? >> nope. >> this man says racism is behind brandon, mississippi's silence. do you believe there's a lot of people in brandon, mississippi, that may feel the same way about the killing of a black man? >> yes, yes. i've even heard it out of some of the police officer's mouths, that this is their statement, deryl's a good kid. he just made one bad mistake. >> after initially pleading not guilty to murder, deryl dedmon just this past march changed his plea to guilty in a state court. the next day, dedmon and two others there that night pleaded guilty to committing federal hate crimes and admitted to a month's long pattern of brutal harassment against blacks.
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dedmon was given two life sentences for his murder plea. the others have yet to be sentenced. up next, was it murder or a miscarriage of justice? the story of two families torn apart by a deadly shooting. [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks. ♪ [ maine accent ] 50% more clams. it's a lobster, either way. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus, it's the card for people who like more cash. [ italian accent ] 50% more dough! what's in your wallet? who are these guys? oh, that's just my buds. bacon, donuts. -my taste buds. -[ taste buds ] waffles. how about we try this new kind of fiber one cereal? you think you're going to slip some fiber by us? rookie. okay. ♪ nutty clusters and almonds, ♪ ♪ almonds.
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our criminal justice system is based on the promise of a fair trial, but what if a trial isn't fair? what if the prosecution has stacked the deck against you unfairly?
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deborah feyerick brings us the story of a man who was sitting in prison, maybe for life, even after the trial that put him there was found by a judge to be full of holes. >> i was convicted of second-degree murder with depraved indifrence in 1997. and i was sentenced to 20 years to to life. >> new york city police officer richard diguglielmo served 11 years in prison before a judge tossed out his conviction and he was sent home. his friends and family celebrating his release. when you walked out -- >> it was surreal. i couldn't believe it. my ankles weren't shackled. i was like, wow, this is real. >> a free man, he spent two years rebuilding his life.
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he got a job, an apartment, a wife. then just as suddenly in a twist of the criminal justice system, it was all taken away. >> i still cannot adjust being back here. this is difficult. it is difficult. >> richard diguglielmo's bizarre journey began here, dobbs ferry, a german village 30 minutes outside new york city. on october 3rd, 1996, the small community was rocked by a deadly shooting, triggered over this parking space. the shooter was off-duty new york city officer, richard diguglielmo jr. the victim was charles campbell, a boxer who worked with underprivileged kids. his older brother called him chaz. >> he was a wonderful athlete, wonderful person. he was a christian, loved kids, loved people, all people. >> it started around 5:00 on a clear autumn day.
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richard diguglielmo was working behind the counter of his family-owned deli. he had stopped by to help his father, richard senior, who was recovering from a heart attack. parking was a major problem along this busy street. they owned the building and say tenants had been withholding rent to protest the lack of open spaces. well, charles campbell didn't know about the ongoing tensions when he pulled his new corvette into this reserved spot and then went across the street to get a piece of pizza. richie's father remembers that day. >> i asked him if he could please move to the other lot. and then he refused to do it. >> so the deli owner did what dobbs ferry police had told him to do, plaster a sticker on the window. here's what father and son say happened when campbell saw the sticker on his new car. >> emergency 911. >> yeah, listen, i need a cop over here.
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dobbs ferry. a fight just broke outside. >> in the parking lot? >> richie was in the store, and he saw him running across the street. he came, and i was like this. he came behind me. he stepped like this. he put his hands up like this. he said, there's no need for this. >> and then -- >> he hit richie in the face. >> it was like getting hit with a hammer. they were hammer blows. he just was out of control. he was somebody who didn't want to listen or reason or anything like that at the time. >> the fight spilled into the middle of the parking lot as father, son, and brother-in-law wrestled campbell to the ground. >> when i went to put my hand underneath his head, he said, that's it, i've had enough. so i said to richie, i said, that's it, it's over. we let him up. now, whenever i had a fight when i was a kid, it was over, it was over. >> but the fight wasn't over. and what happened next changed everything.
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charles campbell, outnumbered three-to-one, went to his car. but rather than leave, he pulled out a bat. this man with a bat in his hands, how much more of a threat did that make him to your father? >> oh, it made him a deadly threat. >> back in the store, rich said he saw campbell strike his father not once, but twice with a metal bat. >> i saw him up with the bat. he started to swing. that's when i reached for the gun. >> the off-duty officer grabbed the gun from under the cash register and raced outside, firing three times, hitting charles campbell in the middle of his chest. >> somebody was shot. >> from the time that bat came out until the time this incident was over, it was a matter of four seconds, five seconds. and my training just kicked in. >> he doesn't remember the
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moments immediately after the shooting. only that one of the responding officers handed him the gun and asked for help removing the bullet clip. then he, his father, and brother-in-law were taken to the police station. >> we want what? >> justice! >> when do we want it? >> now! >> rumors spread like wildfire that the shooting was racially motivated, confirmed in part by the district attorney janine pierro. >> there were racial epithets that the victim was cursed at at the time just prior to the shooting. that information has been confirmed. >> did you ever use any racial slurs? >> we never used a curse word. we never used a racial -- any racial words at all. none. >> campbell's brother william was not there, but describes events as he came to understand them. >> he's going to probably try to work around to get to his car. that's when richie came out of the deli, and i think he came out from behind the truck. he said, "die, nigger, die."
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and he shot him three times. >> eyewitness michael dylan less than three feet away, did not hear any racial slurs. instead, telling a wnbc news crew he saw the bat aimed at the elder man. >> full-force swings hitting him at least in the legs and almost the head. that's pretty much what i saw. you can hear the smacks a block a way. you see your father getting hit with a bat, you're going to do something about it. it was self-defense what i saw. >> i remember at one point watching dylan on television saying, you know, you see your father getting beat, you got to do something. it was strictly self-defense. i remember saying, oh, thank god for this witness. >> we brought murder charges. >> but that same night, the district attorney pierro charged richie diguglielmo with both intentional murder and murder with depraved indifference. >> i was like, how is this murder? i don't understand it. >> so this is the first time you killed a man? how heavily does that weigh on
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you? >> not a day i don't think about it. i believe i saved my father's life that day. >> coming up, the trial that outraged a judge. was this a miscarriage of justice? >> i believe it was a miscarriage of justice. plant prn but iams never adds gluten. iams adds 50% more animal protein, yum! [ male announcer ] ...a naturally complete protein source. look at this body! under this shiny coat is a lean, mean purring machine [ male announcer ] iams. not just food, nutrition for life. i'm an iams cat. feed me what i'm born to eat. meow. as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym.
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is consumed by the shooting that sent his son to prison to serve 20 to life. >> i wish my son was never there, whether i got killed or not. doesn't make any difference to me. what do i have now? my family is torn apart, literally torn apart.
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where's my son? >> we wanted to talk about the shooting to both the dobbs ferry police department and the then westchester county district attorney jeanine pirro. repeated interview requests were denied. if her book, pirro says no question the shooting was racially motivated. race dominated the headlines but never came up at trial. instead, prosecutors claimed diguglielmo shot charles campbell in a murderous rage. the assistant attorney patricial murphy telling the jury, quote, this is a case about revenge. this is a case about retribution. this is a case about payback. prosecutors argued the father, son, and son-in-law ganged up on campbell so that campbell had no choice but to grab a bat from his car. >> i know chaz. when he grabbed that bat, the
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idea of getting that bat was to just show, all right, y'all, back on up. you know, i'm not trying to start nothing here, but i will finish it. they kept charging him. so he swung, i think, once at the father. >> do you think charles campbell could have killed your father had that third hit struck him? >> sure, absolutely. it was a metal baseball bat. >> everyone's saying it's over a parking space. >> it was about a baseball bat. >> if there wasn a baseball bat, there wouldn't have been a gun. >> prosecutors, supported by eyewitness testimony, convinced the jury that campbell, despite holding the bat, was backing away. the jury acquitted the diguglielmos of assault. but richie was convicted of murder with depraved indifference. >> i never denied shooting charles campbell. i said i shot charles campbell to stop him from beating my father with a bat. is that an act of intent? yeah, you could say so.
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it's definitely not depraved indifference murder. >> the d.a. suggested justice was served. >> we brought murder charges. he was convicted of murder. that's what this case was about. >> i'm happy the verdict came back. i'm happy it came back in the light i wanted it to come back in. but i can't feel victory. two families were totally destroyed. >> but there was something wrong about the case against richie diguglielmo. two eyewitnesses came forward saying they'd told police that richie was acting in self-defense. they said police pressured them to change their story. a new hearing was ordered. in 2006, judge rory bellantoni got the case. bellantoni was an appeals court judge. >> what i dealt with was whether or not certain witnesses were coerced. if so, whether the jury was made
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aware of this coercion. >> although some witnesses from the original trial supported the prosecution's version of the shooting, two who were closest to the shooting did not. one of those witnesses was michael dylan. >> after giving his original statement on the night of the shooting, he was picked up by police officers night and day until he changed his statement. >> the dobbs ferry detectives just kept asking me the same questions over and over again, night after night. it was like an interrogation. >> here's what dylan originally told police. >> to my best recollection, the black guy was swinging the bat at the older male when the shots were fired. >> but the jury never heard that. instead, dylan testified at trial that campbell wasn't swinging the bat. another key witness who refused to change his story and was not called to testify was james white. >> they were telling me that other people said this and other people said that. and i said, but i'm not interested in what other people said.
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i'm telling you what i saw, and this is the truth. >> white was standing inside the deli, and he saw charles campbell, not as victim, but as aggressor. >> they held him down on as long as it took for him to cease attacking. and once he did that, they would let him up. >> white says that's when campbell got the bat, swinging at the father. >> i'm looking at him saying, my god, he's going to kill him. >> the jury never heard that version either. bellantoni found the autopsy report supported white's story. >> one of the things the district attorney's office couldn't get around at the hearing was that the bat was being held upright. the only way you get five wounds with three bullets is this bullet went in the forearm, out the forearm, into the chest. >> in a scathing 69-page report,
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judge bellantoni called the district attorney's case a wholesale assault on the justice system and criticized prosecutors for a win at all cost mindset. he overturned the conviction and sent richie free. you had started working. you had moved into your own apartment. tell me what else. >> met a woman, fell in love, got married. and then, i had to come back here. >> but prosecutors appealed, arguing bellantoni had overstepped his authority. in a stunning reversal, a four-judge panel in new york's highest court ruled, even had the jury known witnesses changed their stories, it likely wouldn't have changed the verdict. >> i don't know how they can say that. if 12 people heard that he stuck by his story and finally changed it because he just didn't want to be harassed by the police department any longer, might the verdict have been different? the answer for me was yes. >> was this a miscarriage of justice? >> i believe it was a
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miscarriage of justice. >> today i'm here on my own free will to surrender to this court, and i will continue to fight this fight. >> on june 3rd, 2010, richie returned to prison to finish his sentence of 20 to life. >> i feel for richie because irregardless of what he was thinking, i forgive him, not his action. >> it's been a tragedy from day one, and i won't belittle that in any way, but how does a judge send you home and then another judge say, oh, no, we don't agree with you, so we're going to send you back. >> would you have rather stayed in prison knowing what you know now? >> there was a time where i said yes, but then i would have never met my wife. that's the sunshine in this dreary world. >> so there's hope. >> there's always hope.
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>> after refusing cnn's interview request, former d.a. jeanine pirro did finally send us a statement. in it, she described charles campbell as an unarmed man and pointed out that richard diguglielmo's guilt has been confirmed by three appelate courts. however, she failed to answer our questions about why race never surfaced at the trial or why original witness statements were withheld. richard deguglielmo isn't up for parole until 2019. up next, a stunning cnn investigation reveals doctors cheating on medical exams. why has this gone on for so long, and is the public at risk? it's a steak-over. it's juicy. it's tender. it seems like it just melts in my mouth. that's a nice steak. only one in five steaks is good enough to be called walmart choice premium beef. you are eating walmart steaks. really? this is fabulous. the steak is excellent.
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[ dr. rahmany ] introducing crest pro-health clinical rinse. it actually keeps your teeth 91% clean of plaque even at 2 months after a dental visit. new crest pro-health clinical rinse. it's a critical specialty in medicine, radiology. the doctors who examine x-rays and other imaging to diagnose if you have a serious disease. to get board certified, radiologists must pass a series of tests. but a cnn investigation has found many of those doctors have taken shortcuts along the way, by getting exam questions from doctors who have taken the tests before them. it's been going on for a long time. there's even a name for it, recalls. because the doctors memorize the questions, then write them down. now a national crackdown is underway by the group that certifies radiologists, which calls the practice down right
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cheating. here's our investigation. >> this is absolute definitive cheating. >> dr. matthew webb is a 32-year-old army doctor accepted into one of the military's largest medical residency programs. a san antonio, texas, based complex that includes the renowned brook army medical center where webb trained as a resident. but it wasn't long before he was stunned to learn an open secret about most of his fellow doctors. they were, he says, cheating to pass medical exams. >> it wasn't until i took my physics exam that i found out that the way the residents were studying for the exam was to tually study from verbatim recalled back tests that had been performed by prior residents. >> to become certified by the american board of radiology, or abr, doctors must pass two
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written exams and an oral exam. webb says he took that first exam in the fall of 2008, and to his surprise, he failed the first test, which focuses on physics. he said he went to the director of the radiology program at the time. >> he told me that if you want to pass the abr physics exam, you absolutely have to use the recalls. i told him, sir, i believe that's cheating. i don't believe in doing that. i can do it on my own. he then went on to tell me, you have to use the recalls. almost as if it was a direct order. >> and an order easily fulfilled. webb found the recalls, the tests almost verbatim, on the military's website for the radiology residents. cnn has obtained all of these tests, at least 15 years of recalls stored on a shared military computer server. the test questions, the answers,
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even presented as a powerpoint. cultivated from years of residents taking the tests, recalling the questions, and adding them to what appears to be an ever growing database. >> residents knew about the recalls. the program directors knew about the recalls. a large portion of people were using them, and it was just accepted. >> that bothered webb. not only was this cheating. this was the army. he says his supervisors in uniform didn't seem to care, so webb take his complaint of cheating to the very board that certifies radiologists. dr. gary backer is the american board of radiology's executive director. >> we've heard about these, you know, recall memories come out of the test, write down 20 questions here, you take the next 20 questions. they almost sound like well-organized schemes to skirt the very certification you're trying to ensure. >> i don't think we know how well organized they are.
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i mean we haventerfere inferential cheating. >> isn't it cheating? >> we would call it cheating. our exam security policy would call it cheating, yes. >> now for the first time in more than ten years, the board is revamping its entire testing procedures, at the same time cracking down because so many certified radiologists may have gained their certification, at least partially, because it was so easy to cheat. about half of the questions on the annual radiology exam has been recycled from a large pool of old test questions. >> we take it seriously because when we put the stamp of certification on an individual, that means that the public has trusted us to do so. >> and from any of the investigations or inquiries you've done, you don't really have a sense of how long it's been going on? >> no. i'd say it's been going on a long time. i can't give you a date. >> because this goes right to the heart of the value of the certification. >> that's exactly what it's all about. >> we showed backer copies of the recall exams from the
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military's san antonio program. >> we're outraged by this. and we took this case to our professionalism committee. the result of the deliberations there and the decision of the board was to go directly back to the training director, the dean of the institution. and we've had those discussions. >> he acknowledged the recalls were close to the actual test. in fact, i think you have them sign statement that this material is copyrighted. >> that's exactly right. >> and that is where the illegal comes in, exactly right. >> so it would be a crime? >> it would be a crime. >> despite repeated requests, the military refused to answer our questions on camera. it did send us a statement acknowledging residents shared exam questions in the past and it does not encourage or condone cheating of any kind. the military also admitted some faculty members and program directors were aware of the use of recalled examination questions by residents.
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in fact, the military admits a smaller number of faculty and a past program leader encouraged the use of recall questions as one of several tools to improve medical knowledge and prepare for the exam. the military now says the recall exams have been removed from its computers and residents must sign this statement that they won't use them. but has the damage already been done? dr. webb, the complaintant, he told us that to fine out that some of these physicians don't have the knowledge but are able to get through by cheating, it's despicable. do you agree with it? >> i agree. i agree. now, i can say we don't have any more information on other programs. we haven't heard similar reports from other residents. but if and when we ever hear of any, we're going to track them down. >> we wanted to find out just how widespread the use of recalls really is.
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so we figured we'd come here to chicago to the largest medical convention in the united states. the radiological society of north america, which draws 60,000 radiologists from around the world. it wasn't long before we started getting answers. at, you'll always find the perfect hotel. because we only do hotels. wow. i like that. nice no. laugh... awe uch ooh, yeah hmm nice huh book it! oh boy call me... this summer, we're finding you the perfect place - plus giving you up to $100 at [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow! [ male announcer ] when your favorite foods fight you, fight back fast with tums smoothies. so fast and smooth, you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums
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if you want to find out just how widespread the cheating is on radiology exams, there is no better place than chicago's mccormick place in late november. for most of the last 36 years, radiologists from across the world have been gathering here for the largest medical convention in the uned states. 60,0trong, the radlogica sociy northca i sw off new technology, new techniques, and to find out at an old bad, and perhaps even illegal, practice has been going on for years. dr. kay lozano, a practicing radiologist for seven years, says she never used recalls, but
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admits they were easy to find. >> i didn't know a person who didn't have access to those, but it was -- i think part of it is how you use it. >> residents here told us off camera, recall use is widespread, not just at the army program in san antonio, but at programs across the country, including prestigious ones like harvard's teaching hospital, massachusetts general. the chief of radiology there says he didn't know personally of anyone using recalls, but also says we did not know officially sanction or organize the recalls. was using recalls cheating? >> i think when something is so widespread, it feels less like it's cheating. >> how it works is simple and a long-standing practice. residents take the american board of radiology's certification test and immediately upon finishing,
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write down a portion of the test they are responsible to recall. >> people decide beforehand what sections will i focus on in terms of trying to recall those questions and answers. and then immediately after the examination, the residents get together and try to put these down on to paper or on word processor to be able to, you know, share it with the classes coming behind you. >> dr. john yu says residency programs even share their recalls, helping each other build as close to a copied test as possible. yu says it's not exactly cheating, especially when passing the test and getting certified could mean the difference between getting a job and being unemployed. >> it's sort of out of necessity to pass the examinations that you have to rely on the recalls. >> yu, lozano, and dr. joseph
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dieber say residents have used the recalls primarily as guides, to help narrow down topics most likely to be covered on the exams. and dieber says the radiology test is almost impossible to pass without the recall exams because many of the questions are obscure, irrelevant facts. >> we've known people who tried to study out of the books, and the people don't pass that way. >> nonsense, says dr. gary becker, executive director of the american board of radiology, or abr. >> there are people who say that because they say, well, the abr writes archean questions or random medical facts. obviously, we don't believe that. >> board officials insist there's no reason to believe the widespread use of recalls has led to unqualified doctors since they still must pass a rigorous oral exam. but these are doctors! it seems like there should be and is a higher standard. >> and i agree with you.
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and that's why the abr does not want to tolerate this behavior. >> do you think it's a big deal? >> yeah, i think it's a big deal. and i think recalls are cheating and it's inappropriate. the abr isn't going to tolerate it. >> that may be so, but residency program director, like dr. king li, who doesn't endorse the use of recalls, says it's been going on for so long, it's difficult to stop. and any resident who speaks out may find few friends come test day. >> so if a particular trainee is not willing to actually use recall to help them to pass the exam and the culture of that particular training program is that everyone does it, then that particular person can be singled out as a social outcast. >> which brings us back to dr. matthew webb who tells us that's exactly what happened to him. he says he's been shunned by fellow residents, and he was fired from the radiology program
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after something unrelated to the recalls. he was reprimanded by the army for making sexual comments to another doctor and for other conduct unbecoming an officer. webb calls it a personality dispute that escalated. now the army has other plans for dr. webb. as this story was being prepared, he says the army called him in and grilled him on why he spoke to cnn. while he remains an army doctor, he does fear his military career is in jeopardy. the army denies it retaliated against dr. webb for speaking out. in the documents we obtained, the army actually calls dr. webb, quote, a remarkably talented resident. but it also says he demonstrated conduct unbecoming an officer and physician. >> as for the new radiology exam, which rolls out next year,


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