Twelve years after banning the execution of the "mentally retarded," the U.S. Supreme Court is examining the question of who qualifies as having mental retardation, for purposes of capital cases, and who does not.
In 2002, the high court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing "mentally retarded" people is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. But the justices left it to the states to define mental retardation.
Now the court is focusing on what limits, if any, there are to those definitions.
The U.S. holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic country, according to critics of the treatment. Here, an immigrant detainee makes a call from his "segregation cell" at a detention facility in Adelanto, Calif., last November.
Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."
Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.
The Lodo Wellness Center in Denver has been selling medical marijuana for several years. But since Jan. 1, when marijuana in Colorado officially moved from underground to behind the counter, the center has also been selling legal, recreational pot.
A majority of Americans now say they support full legalization, and the trend is spreading to other states.
Meanwhile, the public health community is warning of a potential safety problem: more people driving while stoned. But health officials and law enforcement don't yet have the data or the tools to address the concern.
Thin mints, shortbreads and caramel delights. Danielle Lei, 13, sold 117 boxes outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco.
Credit Ross Hailey / MCT/Landov
If there's a merit badge for business savvy, 13-year-old Girl Scout Danielle Lei might well deserve one.
Danielle, who set up her table of Girl Scout cookies outside The Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco earlier this week, sold a whopping 117 boxes in a single day. She appears to have tapped into a niche market fueled by the drug's well-known propensity to stimulate appetite.