Advocates for prisoners have long argued that confinement conditions in prisons violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. On Tuesday, they made their case before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, complete with a replica prison cell in the hearing room.
Advocates for prisoners rights say too many inmates spend years in solitary confinement — in violation of the constitutional bar against cruel and unusual punishment. Today, they persuaded the U.S. Senate to hold the first hearing on the issue, as state and federal prison systems fend off new lawsuits over the practice.
The company has spent $4 billion since 2007 on preparations to explore for oil off the north coast of Alaska. Many Alaskans welcome the venture, which could lead to the development of trillions of dollars worth of oil. But not everyone's convinced Shell has all the environmental protections in place to protect areas of the pristine Arctic.
Illinois has joined a growing list of cash-strapped states starting to turn away from the Supermax prison concept. State legislators in Illinois have proposed closing the state's only supermaximum security prison or converting it into a lower-security facility.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned Tuesday in his home state of Michigan, avoiding big cities and staying in places friendly to the GOP. Romney seemed to be using each stop on his five-day tour to hone his attacks and his humor.
A civil war of sorts has broken out at the University of Virginia, pitting MBAs against PhDs. The first shot was fired one week ago, when the head of U.Va.'s governing board announced Teresa Sullivan, a popular and respected president at the school, would be leaving after less than two years.
Western U.S. beaches are getting a regular dose of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The first few items were curiosities — a boat here, a soccer ball there. But as the litter accumulates, so does the unprecedented threat of biological invasion.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.