When prosecutors violate the law to deprive a person of a fair trial, is vindication enough, or should the prosecutors be held liable for damages?
This week, a bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court all but closed the door to such lawsuits. The 5-4 ruling came in the case of a New Orleans man who served 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
In December of 1984, Raymond Liuzza Jr., the son of a prominent New Orleans business executive, was shot to death in front of his home. Police, acting on a tip, picked up two men, Kevin Freeman and John Thompson.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sharply criticized for his handling of a migrant wave on Lampedusa — an island in the Mediterranean Sea that is the southern most point of Italy, about 70 miles from Tunisia. Last week, Tunisians who had fled the unrest in North Africa outnumbered the 5,000 islanders.
Visiting the island, the prime minister made many promises, but he also alienated his European Union partners and earned the scorn of human rights groups.
Howard Jacobson's novel The Mighty Walzer was acclaimed when it was published in Great Britain more than 10 years ago. It tells the story of Oliver Walzer, an anxious adolescent in Manchester, England, in the 1950s, who doesn't quite know how he fits into the world around him. His family immigrated from a part of Eastern Europe he calls "bug country ... all we've been doing since the Middle Ages has been growing beet root and running away from Cossacks." Oliver is especially shy around girls, but at least he has pingpong. That's right — pingpong.
Artist George Tooker, who was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2007, died of kidney failure at his home in Hartland, Vt., last Sunday. He was 90 years old. Tooker used luminous colors and light to illustrate how people should act toward one another — and painted the consequences of what happens when they don't.