Teenage murderer James Morgan didn’t go the electric chair. But is his life worth living? In 1987, when I first interviewed James Morgan, he was on death row in Florida, sentenced to die in the electric chair for murdering a widow in a
On The Edge: Reindeer and Climate Change
Female reindeer stands protectively beside her calf. Text and photos by Randall Hyman TROMSØ, NORWAY – “When I got married two years ago, we invited 1400 people,” Berit Oskal-Somby told me as we stood in an icy coastal pasture in northern Norway surrounded
BOOM: North America’s Explosive Oil-by-Rail Problem
U.S. regulators knew they had to act fast. A train hauling 2 million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota had exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Now they had to assure Americans a similar disaster wouldn’t happen south of the border, where the U.S. oil boom is sending
Forgiving Someone Who Kills Your Loved One Seems Impossible. Until It Isn’t
October 14, 2015 It was the perfect campsite, a place where the five kids in the Jaeger family could skip stones in a drifting river and wake up to views of the Montana Rockies. Marietta Jaeger and her husband, their three teenagers
Freedom, Finally, After a Life in Prison
WHEN she was 15 years old, Paula Cooper and three high school classmates in Gary, Ind., decided to cut school and steal some money to play games at a local arcade. They drank some cheap wine, smoked some pot and walked to the
Meltdown: Vanishing Polar Ice
“What you are looking at,” lamented marine biologist Haakon Hop of the Norwegian Polar Institute, “is the melting of the Arctic Ocean.”
Nearing 82 degrees north latitude aboard the research ship RV Lance in late July 2013, we were just 500 miles shy of the North Pole.
Last August, more than a year after the Philips lighting fixture plant in Sparta, Tennessee, closed its doors, Bo McCurry and Ricky Lack stepped out of Lack’s beat-up Ford Ranger and walked up the sloping, tree-lined drive to the plant’s padlocked gates. It was the first time either one had been back since the closure.
Could a LA-Style Threat Assessment Team Have Thwarted Elliot Rodger’s Shooting Spree?
A few hours after the May shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista, CA. that left seven people dead, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) drew attention to his controversial mental health reform bill that is stalled in Congress. He declared, “How many more
How America’s Fishing Councils Balance Investors with Players and Prices
The fishermen in the room are standing. More prone to long hours on their feet than sitting, they stick out at these meetings, rising after a few hours, hovering behind chairs. This is the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. One of eight regional
Will All African Rhinos be Dead in Twenty Years?
The flat bone had a bullet hole through it wide enough to fit the tip of a pinky finger, and was caked in a dried mix of Kruger National Park’s rusty clay earth, and blood. Two cracks had propagated outwards from where the
Downrange in D.C.: What Happens When a Neighborhood is Sitting on Old Chemical Weapons?
The ordnance team had been downrange about 20 minutes when the artillery round surfaced. Inside a hanger-sized tent in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Spring Valley, an excavator swiveled slowly back and forth, the bucket scooping soil from one pile at the tent’s
Immigration: The Pain and Reward
Imagine for a minute that you have to leave your home. Imagine there is a war going on around you and you fear for your life and that of your children. Maybe the potato crop, which your country is dependent on, has been ravaged by disease and hundreds of thousands of people have died of starvation.
The Scientist Who Explored the Skies
MT. PALOMAR – Visiting the Palomar observatory in the forested mountains northeast of San Diego is a bit like finding oneself at the foot of one of the great pyramids of Egypt. The scale is so intimidating, so outsized compared to its surroundings,
Saving the American Buffalo by Killing It
Jerry Blanks took careful aim through the powerful scope on his black hunting rifle as the buffalo surrounding the pick-up truck watched him quizzically. His eye was focused on the dark fur just behind the ear of a young bull that stood just slightly apart from the group.
The Death of a Black Nursing Home
PITTSBURGH, Penn.–Elaine Carrington moved into the Lemington Home for the Aged in Pittsburgh in November 2004. She died three weeks later of a blood clot in her lungs. An investigation by the state found that the staff had failed to give Carrington any
Why Medicaid’s Racism Drove Historically-Black Nursing Home Bankrupt
PITTSBURGH, Penn.–On July 4, 1883, the Lemington Home for the Aged opened as a charity to house “aged and infirm colored women.” The first four residents included a former slave named Aunt Peggy. That began a 122 history of service that would end
Reproductive Rights and the Criminal Justice System
This Mom Checked Her Newborn Out of the Hospital Early. The Next Day Her Baby Was Taken Away.
Tiffany Langwell was thrilled to find out she was pregnant again at the age of 38. She had two children from her first marriage —
The Hare’s Race: Can evolution save species from climate change?
Behind the wheel of his boxy red Ford F-250 truck, L. Scott Mills sipped his watery coffee and headed east. It was 18 degrees out on a dim and wintry Missoula morning. As the sun rose and the sky turned white, Mills followed Montana Route 200 along the lazy Blackfoot River, northeast toward the town of Seeley Lake.
An Epic Experiment: Can America’s Great Plains Bison Recover?
The battered white pickup truck is bouncing across a pasture of sagebrush and alfalfa when Bronc Speak Thunder turns the steering wheel east and points to the far side of a creek bed. Scattered across a grassy slope are what appear to be a field of brown boulders —
Americans Are Working So Hard, It’s Actually Killing People
Jessica Wheeler works the night shift as an oncology nurse at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania—but her patients are usually wide awake. “When they have a new cancer diagnosis or they’re going to have a biopsy in the morning, they don’t sleep,”