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Virginia Delegate Hopes To Decriminalize Suicide

There's no law on the books, but under Virginia's common law, suicide is considered a crime. In the current legislative session, one delegate thinks it's time for the commonwealth to change that.

In 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 1,000 Virginians took their own lives, among them a student at the University of Virginia who suffered from depression and died after a drug overdose. Her mother was heartbroken and even more upset when she learned suicide was considered a crime here.

Now, her state delegate, Rob Krupicka, is hoping to change that.

"We've seen a really significant rise among people in the military. Too many young people are committing suicide. I've certainly had suicide in my family, and I've talked to a lot of people who have," he says.

Krupicka thinks calling suicide a crime puts an unnecessary stigma on a mental health problem.

"The last thing a family needs to hear after a loved one has died by suicide is, 'By the way, this is also a criminal act,'" he says. 

He thinks society needs to talk about the problem to recognize that it's preventable, and he's introduced a bill that would eliminate the criminal label, something most other states have already done.

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals: The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear

An endangered whale was found dead over the weekend, entangled in derelict fishing gear. Such incidents have been on the rise in recent years. A new California law aims to combat the problem.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM form a group to set the first industrywide best practices for the technology already powering many applications, such as voice and image recognition.

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