murder

Kelly Gissendaner Execution Again Exposes Gender Quirk in Death Penalty

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Just about the only time that an execution will raise more than eyebrow is when a woman is scheduled to be put to death. This was certainly the case with condemned Georgia murderer Kelly Gissendaner. Pope Francis chimed in and pleaded for Georgia to spare her life. Tens of thousands signed a petition pleading for mercy. Gissendaner's daughters, who also happened to be the daughters of the man whom she was complicit in his murder in 1997, also pleaded for her life. 

Truman Capote’s Tale of Murder: ‘In Cold Blood’ Fifty Years Later

Mike Peters

Almost from the moment of first publication in book form In Cold Blood - soon to be a best-seller and Book-of-the-Month Club selection - is surrounded by controversy. Has the author, by not doing enough to prevent the two culprits` executions, compounded the ruthless and chilling murders depicted in his book?  After all, without them and their co-operation, there would be no book. In spite of Capote`s furious protests and in spite of such notable defenders of his cause as the notable cultural commentator, Diane Trilling, the phrase `in cold blood` begins to take on additional significance.

The Second Slaying of Michael Brown

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The crude and clumsy message was that Brown was a bad guy. Though they didn’t dare say it openly, the even more unstated but lethal message was that there was a legitimate cause, if not outright justification, for the deadly train of events that occurred. The aim of the savage assault on Brown's character was to deconstruct him as an innocent victim. If enough dirt could be tossed at Brown to cast doubt and suspicion about his character and motives, then maybe there was probable cause to kill.

Invoice to the Taxpayer: Sex Change for a Convicted Murderer

Stephanie Stark

Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, brutally murdered her own wife 25 years ago, and is serving a life sentence in a Massachusetts prison. She has a long history of hard drug use and sexual abuse. Similar to Laverne Cox’s character in Orange is the New Black, doctors have diagnosed Kosilek with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), a condition where the body is incongruent with the mind’s gender. To treat it, she has been in hormonal therapy, laser hair treatment and psychological therapy, but is still chronically distressed. 

White Male Killers and Homicidal Banality

Stephanie Stark

The recent shooting in Santa Barbara is a red flag in a sea of red flags: gun violence is America’s version of the African tragedy. Since 2006, there has been one mass killing nearly every two weeks in the United States, with 75 percent being committed by the use of a firearm. Firearm sales have set records every single year since President Obama has been in office; there have been four times as many firearms purchased as babies have been born in the U.S.

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