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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Photos of maximum-security prisons in Norway and the US reveal the extremes of prison life

US Administrative Security Facility, or ADX Florence, in Florence, Colorado.
US Administrative Security Facility, or ADX Florence, in Florence, Colorado.
Inside the walls of the toughest prison in the US, a fork is a deadly weapon. Inside the walls of Norway's toughest prison, a fork is, well ... a fork.

The differences extend far past silverware. In just about every way, the approaches that the US and Norway take to criminal justice fall on opposite ends of the spectrum.

While the US uses isolation to punish offenders and keep them away from civil society, Norway prefers to rehabilitate its inmates so they can return to the outside world — there are no life sentences.

No two prisons make that difference more clear than the super-max Administrative Security Facility, or ADX Florence, in Florence, Colorado and Halden Prison, in Halden, Norway.

Not all US prisons are as strict as ADX, and while Halden is technically maximum-security, it's still closer to the rule than the exception in Norway. Here's what life is like at both extremes.



Exercise cages, ADX Florence, Colorado
Exercise cages, ADX Florence, Colorado


Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence. No contact with other inmates.
Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence.
No contact with other inmates.


Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence. Inmates spend 23 hours a day locked up, alone.
Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence.
Inmates spend 23 hours a day locked up, alone.


Halden Prison, Norway. Cells look  like College dorm bedrooms.
Halden Prison, Norway. Cells look like College dorm bedrooms.


Halden Prison, Norway. A rec room allows inmates to socialize
Halden Prison, Norway. A recreation room allows inmates to socialize.


Click here to read the full article (+ photos)

Source: Business Insider, Chris Weller, February 5, 2017

➤ Recommended resource: Where to Invade Next, a documentary by Michael Moore, 2015. To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer...

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