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BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and MICHAEL D. SHEAR – Once Skeptical of Executive Power, Obama Has Come to Embrace It

Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power, Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history. Blocked for most of his presidency by Congress, Mr. Obama has sought to act however he could. In the process he created the kind of government neither he nor the …

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Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins – America’s Racial Wealth Divide Is Nothing Short of Shocking

Most media coverage of racial injustice has understandably focused on our country’s unfair policing and criminal justice system. But to fully understand the current reality of racial inequality in America, we also need to take an honest look at our nation’s shocking wealth disparities. Wealth — the total assets a family owns after the bills are paid — is the …

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Jamiles Lartey – By the numbers: US police kill more in days than other countries do in years

It’s rather difficult to compare data from different time periods, according to different methodologies, across different parts of the world, and still come to definitive conclusions. But now that we have built The Counted, a definitive record of people killed by police in the US this year, at least there is some accountability in America – even if data from the …

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Infectious Myth – Online Voting – 05.24.16

David talks with Areeq Chowdhury, founder and chief executive of Web Roots Democracy, a United Kingdom-based organization that promotes the idea of online voting in British elections to combat apathy and increase voter turnout, especially among the young. Following that interview David reviews news articles on criminal justice, guns, medicalization of birth and treatment of ADHD and depression.

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Bill Quigley – America’s #1 Incarceration State

In 2014, the US Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1 [3], among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 over 100 points ahead of next highest state Oklahoma.   Because the US leads the world in incarcerating [4] its people, this means Louisiana is number one in the world.   Compare [4] Louisiana’s rate of 816 people per 100,000 with Russia’s 492, …

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Tim Dickinson – Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War

In March, the commander in chief of the War on Drugs stood in front of a crowd of policymakers, advocates and recovering addicts to declare that America has been doing it wrong. Speaking at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta – focused on an overdose epidemic now killing some 30,000 Americans a year – President Barack …

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German Lopez – The tragic collapse of America’s public mental health system

America’s criminal justice system has, in many ways, become a substitute for the US’s largely gutted mental health system. You may have heard something like that before, but never has it been clearer than in this map from MetricMaps: The map essentially tells two stories: the rise of mass incarceration and the collapse of America’s public mental health system. From the 1970s through …

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Feeling sleepy? You might be at risk of falsely confessing to a crime you did not commit

If you are one of the millions of people who have listened to the podcast “Serial” or watched Netflix’s series “Making a Murderer,” you may believe there are innocent people in prison. But long before the cases of Adnan Syed, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were brought to the public’s attention, we and other researchers have been hard at work …

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Claire Bernish – A Staggering 95% of All Inmates in America Have Never Received a Trial

In the Land of the Free, one-quarter of the entire planet’s prison population, some 2.2 million people, currently languish behind bars; yet, an astonishing number of them — around 2 million — have never been to trial. Indeed, these figures categorically debunk the notion the criminal justice system in the United States maintains any semblance of its formation’s original intent: …

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Andy Kroll – Ted Cruz’s Howitzer

Ted Cruz couldn’t take it any longer. It was July 23, 2012. Houston. The final debate of the Republican runoff in Cruz’s bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate. The former Texas solicitor general had entered the race as a footnote, his polling in the low single digits, his political résumé extremely thin. Ted who? But over the course of 18 months, the …