- Newsmaker: Supreme Court Bans Execution of Mentally Retarded
The US Supreme Court has ruled that, according to the constitution, it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute a convict who is mentally retarded. The 6-to-3 decision overturns the court's own 1989 ruling. Wayne Slater, Austin bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, says the decision has special resonance in Texas, where the Legislature and Governor hold fiercely opposing political opinions.
- Reporter's Notebook: Professor Anita Hill on Women as Whistleblowers
Clarence Thomas was confirmed as a US Supreme Court Justice only after a Senate hearing into charges of sexual harassment by a former colleague. Now a professor at Brandeis University, Anita Hill is credited for helping improve the status of women in male-dominated institutions. Recently, two other women have exposed public incompetence and private corruption. Hill speculates on the significance of their gender.
Lax Leadership Plagues Middle East Peace
With this week-s suicide bombings timed to divert President Bush-s effort to get the peace process back on track, Israelis, Palestinians and the Bush administration all are divided within themselves about what to do next. As Yasser Arafat demanded a stop to the violence, calling it an invitation to Israel-s reoccupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli troops rounded up 2500 Palestinians. Meanwhile, 1500 other Palestinians staged a hunger march, blaming both sides for their misery. Now, President Bush has delayed his much-awaited proposal to give the Palestinians an -interim state.- We get a taste of the frustration with the laxity in leadership that-s plaguing Middle East peace from current and former Israeli, Palestinian and US government insiders.