There are nearly one and a half million people locked behind bars in the United States. This is a threefold increase since 1980 and the numbers are rising by more than 8 per cent a year. Over 2,700 prisoners were under sentence of death in thirty–six states at the end of 1993. In that year thirty–eight people were executed, bringing to 226 the total number of prisoners executed since 1977. Four of the people executed were juvenile offenders aged seventeen at the time of their crimes. Racial discrimination is a major concern since half of those executed were black or of Latin American origin and 88 per cent had been convicted of the murder of white victims. The raw statistics reveal an unjust and discriminatory system which means that some people convicted of a homicide will receive the death penalty while others who commit identical or worse crimes will not.
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Perception is a weird thing. Lawrence Durrell saw Hydra as a ‘great horned toad’ but Henry Miller thought it resembled a ‘huge loaf of petrified bread’. Niko Ghika painted it as a series of neat white and orange squares.
The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.