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Death Penalty

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The Law Won

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Caring for the Condemned: Does It Make Sense to Treat the Mental Health of Someone Facing Execution?

How the new mental health facility for California’s death row inmates reflects our nation’s ongoing ambivalence about the death penalty.

True Crime

arson-motel

To Catch an Arsonist: Will We Ever Have a Reliable Way to Identify Fire Starters?

Gradual advancements in the art and science of fire investigation continue.

ProPublica

interrogations

The Value of Taping Interrogations

A report advocating death penalty reforms finds that false confessions in capital cases can be limited by recording the questioning of suspects.

True Crime

hemlock-seeds

Bring Back Hemlock! America’s Dirty Secret About Lethal Injections

Amid drug shortage, states look to shady distributors—with disastrous results.

Quick Studies

Electric Chair

Are Death Row Inmates Innocent If They Refuse a Last Meal?

A new study finds that prisoners who deny their guilt are more likely to hold out on eating before execution.

 

firing-squad

Why Don’t We Just Shoot Condemned Inmates?

If we’re going to kill people, there’s only one good way to do it.

 

anesthesia-operating-room

Missouri Execution Could Kill Americans’ Access to Key Anesthetic

Pharmaceutical companies in the European Union are blocking off-label drugs for executions.

 

lethal-injection-room

Texas Will Execute Its 500th Inmate Today

Public opinion of the death penalty remains stable in the U.S., and higher in Texas.

Features

death-penalty

The Death Penalty Is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

How legal wrangling over the chemicals used in lethal injection could shut down capital punishment.

 

The Final Feast: Last Meals on Death Row

 

George Cowan, Founding President of Santa Fe Institute: 1920-2012

Welcome to “The 101,” our premiere staff-written blog for breaking news and commentary on today’s most compelling research.

 

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The Death Penalty on Life Support

Forty years ago, Americans’ moral qualms almost ended the death penalty. Now we’re abandoning it again — but not because we object to executions.

 

A Mind of Crime

How brain-scanning technology is redefining criminal culpability.

 

Should Minors Ever Face Life Without Parole?

Four years ago the high court decided no minor should face the death penalty. Now it’s poised to determine if youths should face life without a chance of parole.

 

Innocent Until Reported Guilty

The simple prescription for reducing wrongful convictions: better journalism about crime and punishment.

 

Nastier, Noisier, Costlier — and Better

Why letting judges speak out during political campaigns enhances democracy and serves justice.

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Mysterious Resting State Networks Might Be What Allow Different Brain Therapies to Work

Deep brain stimulation and similar treatments target the hubs of larger resting-state networks in the brain, researchers find.

Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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