At courthouses around the world, a statue of justice stands with a set of scales in one hand. to measure the strengths and weaknesses of the cases brought before her. In her other hand, she holds a double-edged sword symbolizing reason and justice. There are an estimated 1.5 million people in American prisons; and people of all political persuasions believe the system is bursting, and that incarceration is not a punishment that fits all crimes.
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole yesterday in an Army courtroom in Washington state. Sergeant Bales confessed to sneaking off his base in Afghanistan last year and committing a massacre, killing 16 civilians - men, women and children. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the end of the case offered little comfort to survivors of the massacre, some of whom were in the courtroom to hear the sentence.
A march and rally kicks off at the Lincoln Memorial this morning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Organizers say the event is also meant to continue their fight for economic parity, voting rights and equality.
Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:58 pm
A wildfire that has spread into Yosemite National Park is now threatening the power grid that supplies San Francisco, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare an emergency for the city.
The 200-square-mile Rim Fire also threatens thousands of homes and has forced the evacuations of hundreds.
Bob Hensley, reporting for NPR, says that in issuing the state of emergency for the city of San Francisco and San Francisco County late Friday, Brown indicated the wildfire has damaged the electrical infrastructure that provides power to the Bay Area 150 miles to the west.
These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.
Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.
The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:28 pm
An agreement has been reached to dismiss a sexual harassment and discrimination suit against Food Network personality Paula Deen and her brother.
The Associated Press reports that a document filed in U.S. District Court in Savannah, Ga., said the parties had reached agreement "without any award or fees to any party."
Lisa Jackson — a former employee of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers — charged that she suffered from sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
Are we seeing the beginning of a trend from the occupant of the Oval Office — a President Obama unbound?
That's the question after Obama cast aside his usual caution while speaking at a town hall-style meeting in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. Asked about his proposals for attacking soaring higher education costs, Obama said:
Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis Discusses ESPN's Decision On 'All Things Considered'
ESPN President John Skipper released a statement Friday defending the network's journalistic integrity after it pulled out of an investigation of the NFL.
ESPN had been a partner with PBS's Frontline on a forthcoming series about concussions in the National Football League. A trailer for the two-part investigation says Frontline "investigates what the NFL knew and when they knew it" regarding the lasting effects of head injuries.