Execution witness Don Reid stands in the death chamber of the Texas State Penitentiary on July 31, 1972, where he officially watched 189 men die in the heavy oak electric chair. The Supreme Court struck down capital punishment on June 29 of that year.
Credit Ilona Lieberman / Courtesy of WW Norton
Evan Mandery is also the author of three novels: Dreaming of Gwen Stefani; First Contact: Or, It's Later Than You Think; and Q: A Love Story.
In the mid-1970s, Arkansas' electric chair was being used by the prison barber to cut hair, and the execution chamber in New Hampshire was being used to store vegetables. That's because in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation by striking down Georgia's death penalty law, effectively ending executions in the United States. But the decision provoked a strong backlash among those who favored the death penalty, and within four years the high court reversed course and issued a set of rulings that would permit the resumption of executions.
If you're on Twitter, you might want to think twice before bragging about all those followers you've been racking up. Some of the people who follow you might be fake — and there are now websites designed to expose them.
NPR's product manager for social media, Kate Myers, talks to Tell Me More's Michel Martin about how to spot fake accounts, why they might be following you and what you can do to stop them.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:41 pm
The French government has taken a step toward saying non to beauty pageants for girls younger than 16. Earlier this week, the upper house of Parliament voted in favor of banning such contests as part of a larger bill on women's rights.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:32 pm
The little plastic sample tray is empty, but the man behind the counter quickly replaces it with one full of a mooncake cut into teeny-tiny pieces. I grab a piece (OK, a couple) before the jostling crowd behind me can get to it. Samples are, after all, the only reason to visit Costco in the middle of a Sunday. There's a large display of square tins, each decorated with a painting of a Chinese man. I take one back to my mother and ask, "Can we get one?"
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 2:25 pm
On Saturday night, the emergency room staff knows all too well what's coming — people showing up with a broken jaw, a knife wound or a bashed-in face, often after too many hours in a pub. Doctors at the emergency department in Cardiff, Wales, realized that many of the people who were injured in fights never reported it to the police. That realization led to a simple program that has radically reduced the toll of violence.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:08 am
Capitol Hill is rife with rich people — "hillionaires," if you will.
Writing in The New York Times, Nicholas Carnes, a public policy professor at Duke University, points out that millionaires show up in only 3 percent of American families. But more than 60 percent of the Senate, most members of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court — and the president himself — are millionaires.
An appeals court in Texas has overturned the 2010 conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who had been found guilty of illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates during the 2002 campaign cycle.
Robbie Fulks has been recording since the mid-'90s, making music that's difficult to categorize. He's written country songs about how compromised most country music is, and while he's fond of folk and bluegrass, he pleases concert audiences with covers of hits by Michael Jackson and Cher. Fulks' new album, Gone Away Backward, is one of his most sustained and subtle efforts.