Commentary: Federal execution ‘spree’ a callous exercise of power

The spree of federal executions is breaking me. I have worked as a mitigation specialist in death penalty cases for 16 years. My role is to learn as much as I can about my client and to provide that information to courts or juries so that they have a complete picture of the person whose fate they are deciding.

Editorial: Garland right choice for DOJ

After four years of a president who regarded the attorney general as his personal lawyer, it was vital that President-elect Joe Biden choose a head of the Justice Department whose independence and professionalism would be beyond dispute. Biden has risen to that challenge with his choice of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick B. Garland for that position.

Commentary: Messing around with vaccine doses is a gamble

Every country that is imposing varying degrees of lockdowns because of rising coronavirus infection rates — such as the U.K. did on Monday — is trying to reduce the burden of the disease on its population, health care systems and economy. The best solution, of course, is vaccines, and three shots have proved in trials to offer protection against disease. That’s assuming they are administered based on data generated from clinical trials. But what happens when the protocols aren’t followed?

Commentary: A ‘Category 5’ mental health crisis is coming

Whenever a hurricane nears our shores, the government implements a system to track the disaster, including assigning a score on a scale of one to five to assess its severity and to guide disaster preparedness efforts. A storm reaching a magnitude of 3 or higher has the potential for devastating damage and loss of life.

Jay Ambrose: Can Biden negotiate us to a better America?

During the Democratic presidential primary, nothing seemed to haunt Joe Biden more than the charge of how totally, completely racist it was for him as a senator in the 1970s to negotiate with Southern, white supremacist segregationists. Why in the world would he even talk to such other senators as James O. Eastland of Mississippi or Herman E. Talmadge of Georgia?

Commentary: Trump was right to bring troops home from Afghanistan. Biden should finish the job

When President Donald Trump took office in 2017, the war in Afghanistan was 16 years old. The original mission, meant to punish the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and their Taliban enablers, was long since completed, but the Taliban held or contested 45% of Afghan territory. There were about 8,400 U.S. forces on the ground, far below the peak of 100,000 in 2010 (excluding contractors, who often equal or exceed the military presence proper). That deployment had been led by 17 commanders — turnover is high in the “graveyard of empires.”