Hayes Carll is a dry-witted folk musician whose humble music is poised, but infused with humorous anecdotes. Hailing from Texas, the singer-songwriter first picked up a guitar at the age of 15. He followed a common route through college while singing on the side, moving around Texas in search of success. But his music is anything but common. He eventually returned to Houston, his hometown,and began to develop a following.
Today, Google announced a new service called "Wallet," an app that Google says turns your phone into a credit card or in some cases, a place to keep all those loyalty program cards you now keep on your key chain.
Robert Dixon Sr. holds a photograph of his son, Robert Dixon Jr. (far right), his son's mentor Bob Stuart, and himself (far left).
Credit Brett Beadle for NPR
Robert Hare, the psychologist who created the PCL-R test for psychopaths, at first resisted giving the checklist to people in the criminal justice system. But he ultimately agreed to publish the test officially so that anyone could use it.
Credit Courtesy of Robert Dixon Sr.
"I'm doing everything I can to salvage some part of the second half of my life," says Robert Dixon Jr., pictured here in the early 2000s in prison.
Credit Lianne Milton for NPR
At left, a school portrait of Robert Dixon Jr., on the mantle of his father's home, in Stockton, Calif. Though friends and family swear he is a reformed man, Dixon is unlikely to win parole because a test has determined he is a psychopath.
Credit Lianne Milton for NPR
Robert Dixon Sr., outside his home, in Stockton, Calif., on Saturday, May 14, 2011. His son, Robert Dixon Jr., was denied parole after a psychological evaluation deemed him a psychopath.
In November 2009, Robert Dixon took a test to determine whether he was a psychopath.
After 26 years in prison, he was due for a parole hearing. In California, before a "lifer" like Dixon appears before the parole board, a state psychologist must first evaluate whether he poses a risk of further violence if released. To do that, the psychologist administers a test — the PCL-R, or Psychopathy Checklist-Revised — designed to measure whether that inmate is a psychopath.
(Alan Greenblatt has been reporting for NPR.org on the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo. A relatively new resident of the state, he shares these thoughts about learning to fear the weather.)
Not many people go out to dinner during a tornado warning. The Tex-Mex place near our house in suburban St. Louis is usually packed, but only a couple of other people were in the place when we showed up Wednesday night.
No wonder. The images from Sunday's twister in Joplin have been more than enough to make people in Missouri sit up and take notice.
>Many psychologists believe that psychopaths are almost bound by nature to commit crime. So if psychopaths can be accurately identified, their menace to society can be contained. That's the hope, at least.
But there is real debate about how to diagnose a psychopath and the usefulness of the tools available to do it. A test developed by psychologist Robert Hare called the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, or PCL-R, is widely used in the criminal justice system — before trial, during sentencing and even in parole decisions — to evaluate a person's psychopathic tendencies.