Patricia Murphy

Reporter

Patricia Murphy is an award-winning reporter at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle focusing on military affairs, veterans' issues and criminal justice. She began her career at WBUR Boston in 1994 and has worked at KUOW since 2000.

Patricia's most recent series, “Less than Honorable,” investigated how the military handles more than 3,000 sexual assault cases each year. Her 2011 collaboration with the Seattle Times, “The Weight of War,” looked at heavy loads carried by troops and the increase in chronic orthopedic injuries as a result; the series won a national award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Healthcare Journalists. She also received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on IV drug use and has had her work recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2012, Patricia was inducted into the Dart Society, a network of journalists who cover trauma, conflict and social injustice. In a briefing document accidentally sent to her by an Army public affairs officer, Patricia was described as “a professional, no-nonsense reporter who comes to the table fully prepared,” though her colleagues at KUOW might also describe her as the station cut-up.

Patricia holds a B.A. from Emerson College in Boston.

Pages

Crime & Courts
4:40 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Auditor: Former Head Of Sex Offender Center Should Not Have Profited From Contract

The McNeil Island Correctional Center in Washington state, photographed here in 2007, was closed to save money, but the Special Commitment Center, where sexually violent predators are indefinitely held for treatment after completing their prison sentences, remained open.
Credit AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

A former superintendent at Washington’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island – which houses the state’s most dangerous sex offenders – should not have profited from a contract that he negotiated when he was a superintendent, the state auditor wrote in a report.

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Budding Debate
11:51 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Could Legalized Pot Hurt Washington’s Medical Marijuana Industry?

Sean Green's medical marijuana collective features a window into the light-filled grow room.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

A year after Washington state voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, the licensing process is underway. Starting Monday, applications to grow, process or sell recreational marijuana can be submitted online, by mail or in person.

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Capital Punishment
6:18 am
Fri November 15, 2013

State Supreme Court: Accused Police Killer Monfort Could Face Death Penalty

A television photographer films pictures displayed at a news conference in Seattle, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, of homemade bombs and other items found in the apartment of Christopher Monfort, the man accused of killing Seattle Police officer Timothy Brenton in 2009.
Credit AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that King County prosecutors can seek the death penalty against accused police killer Christopher Monfort. 

Monfort is charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of Seattle police officer Tim Brenton four years ago. The high court also wrote that a King County judge improperly intruded on the prosecutor’s discretion to pursue a capital case.

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Crime & Courts
10:32 am
Tue November 12, 2013

How To Sentence Juvenile Killers? State Supreme Court Weighs 1988 Case

Two men convicted in the grisly slaying of an elderly couple when they were teens could get parole if the state Supreme Court rules in their favor.

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Veteran Jobs
9:16 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Microsoft Exec: Soldiers Make Great Software Developers

Jason Keefer in class at Joint Base Lewis-McChord,Washington.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A new program in Lacey, Wash., gives soldiers training and a career track in software development after discharge from the Army.

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Social Services
7:50 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Daybreak Star Center Struggles After Feds Pull Head Start Funding

Friends celebrate at the 25th Annual Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center at Discovery Park, Seattle, in July 2010.
Credit Flickr Photo/sea turtle

The Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Seattle’s Discovery Park is in financial trouble. Now the United Indians of All Tribes board is trying to raise enough money to stay open through the end of the year.

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Military
10:29 am
Tue October 29, 2013

With More Addicted Soldiers, Military Expands Treatment Options

Flickr Photo/Charles Williams

For thousands of service members who use opiates to manage chronic pain from war injuries, the road to dependence and addiction can be paved with compassion.

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Monroe Prison Program
4:05 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Respite From Solitary: Troubled Inmates Come Together For Yoga, Conversation

Inmate Joshua Burgoyne, 31, watches Sgt. Mike Acree explain how negative self talk can be turned around. The program for offenders in long term isolation is an attempt to help lower infractions while in prison and when they're released.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

For prison’s toughest inmates, the hardest yoga position is simply closing their eyes.

That’s because these men, housed at Monroe Correctional Complex north of Seattle, have been in solitary confinement, unable to communicate with each other. Until recently, they spent 23 hours a day alone in a cell, without books, without TV, without anyone to talk to. 

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Federal Shutdown
6:48 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Air Traffic Controllers Getting Reduced Pay Due To Shutdown

Air-traffic control tower at Sea-Tac airport.
Credit Flickr Photo/Tom Collines

For federal employees, Tuesday is payday. But because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck.

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Shutdown Activities
12:49 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

NOAA Continues Only Essential Work In Seattle: Feeding The Fish

Access to the NOAA Sandpoint facility in Seattle is restricted to a skeleton crew of employees who are considered essential.
KUOW Photo/Audrey Carlsen

Paychecks and research have come to a halt at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle due to the partial government shutdown. Some NOAA researchers have been given special dispensation to come in to work only to feed the fish and invertebrates they study.

Morale at NOAA is pretty low for the skeleton crew that continues to come in to forecast the weather. So on Thursday they held a potluck to raise their spirits, serving up dishes with names like sequester quencher soda and filibuster parfait.

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UW Medical School
9:46 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Ending Mistreatment Of Medical Students Requires Culture Change

Flickr Photo/I-5 Design & Manufacture

Each year the Association of American Medical Colleges asks medical school graduates about their college experience. In 2013, 42 percent of graduates from all schools reported that they experienced mistreatment during med school. One of the most prevalent mistreatment behaviors was public embarrassment or humiliation.

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Labor Dispute
9:29 am
Tue September 17, 2013

National Labor Board Takes Space Needle Management To Court

Flickr Photo/Craig Elliott

The National Labor Relations Board and Space Needle management are in federal court this week.

The union that represents about 200 employees at the Needle is accusing management of union busting and unfair labor practices.

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Sports Arena Fight
6:43 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Seattle Arena Lawsuit Dismissed; Chris Hansen Fined $50,000

Seattle investor Chris Hansen, pictured here in 2012.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The city of Seattle has no basketball team yet, but the fight over a proposed arena continues.

The state Court of Appeals upheld a decision to dismiss a lawsuit by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union over the proposed site for a new basketball arena in SODO.

The longshoremen argued that an environmental review should have happened before the city made an agreement with arena investor Chris Hansen.

The appeals court ruled that the Memorandum of Understanding between the city of Seattle, King County and Hansen did not constitute final approval for the project. In essence, the court wrote that there was no action as of yet to challenge.  

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High Court Review
8:16 am
Fri September 6, 2013

High Court Affirms Lower Court Ruling On Disclosure Of Murder Defendant's Competency Evaluation

The case before the high court involved Seattle doctor Louis Chen. Chen is accused of murdering his partner and their young son two years ago in their apartment on First Hill.

Attorneys for Chen had argued that their client’s mental competency review be kept secret under a state statute that limits who can see the information.

The high court disagreed.

Michelle Hubbard, a media law attorney at Allied Law Group, says in its ruling the court wrote that the constitutional presumption of openness trumps state law. “What this does is make clear that the same rules apply to court proceedings as to court records. Courts are open. Court records are open," Hubbard said. 

The high court, Hubbard said, was clear about why it’s important that the public have access to this type of information. Defendants who are deemed not competent could be committed for an indeterminate amount of time Hubbard said.

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled Chen competent to stand trial. He’s been charged with two counts of aggravated first degree murder. Prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty.

The trial is expected to start this spring. If he’s found guilty, Chen faces life in prison without parole.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
4:30 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Massive Lawsuit Filed Against Boy Scouts Of America Includes Local Charters

An alleged victim identified in the lawsuit as S.O. describes sexual abuse he says was perpetrated by his scoutmaster.
Credit Courtesy Kosnoff/Fasy PLLC

A lawsuit filed Thursday in King County Superior Court alleges that the Boy Scouts of America continues to cover up a culture that ignored serial pedophiles in its ranks.

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