FROM Christie Thompson
Solitary Confinement and Prison Reform Some 88,000 inmates of state and federal prisons are in some form of solitary confinement, although it’s not called by its real name. But concern about abusive detention — even on death row — has reached all the way to the US Supreme Court. Writing about a case dealing with a different subject, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently stunned court watchers by condemning solitary confinement . He noted that, as long ago as 1890, the Court acknowledged that solitary can lead to madness and suicide, and listed possible side effects including: anxiety panic, withdrawal, hallucinations and self-mutilation. The mental damage caused by isolation is well known, but often inmates are released directly from solitary into the general population outside. Some prison systems are trying to change their ways. We look at the practice of solitary confinement and the available alternatives.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.