The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that Boise, Idaho, violated the 8th Amendment rights of homeless people by levying a small fine for sleeping on the sidewalk. Is keeping public spaces clear of vagrants “cruel and unusual punishment” if no suitable homeless shelters exist?
The Trump administration ends President Obama’s moratorium on federal death penalty executions, despite concerns about racial disparities on death row. While the move changes the method of lethal injection to reduce pain — following the Texas model — the risk of executing an innocent person remains. What’s the role of capital punishment in an advanced, humane, society? Should small government Constitutional conservatives endorse the federal government’s ultimate power to wield the sword against its own citizens?