French police have been trying to get a suspected gunman to surrender, after he apparently changed his mind about turning himself in. The 24-year-old has confessed to killing the Jewish children and the paratrooper in Toulouse. Explosions have been reported near the apartment. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells host Robert Siegel the latest developments.
For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel in plea bargains. In a 5-4 decision Wednesday, the court went further, declaring that when a lawyer acts unethically or gives clearly wrong advice, the defendant may be entitled to a second chance at accepting a plea offer.
Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
We don't know how common the experience of Robert Collins was but in the age of social media, perhaps it was inevitable. Mr. Collins was a corrections officer in Maryland. He took a leave of absence after his mother died, and then reapplied for his job. And he had to go through a security interview.
During the interview, Mr. Collins was asked a question that he had never been asked before during the process. He was asked for his Facebook username and password. Robert Collins joins us from Towson, Maryland. Welcome to the program.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in two murder cases testing whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 14-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There are currently 79 people serving such life terms for crimes committed when they were 14 or younger.
Seventy years ago, in the middle of World War II, a couple of hundred miles north of Toulouse, Claude Lanzmann was a high school student — and an assimilated French Jew. Every day he faced the risk of arrest.
When Lanzmann was a teenager, both he and his father independently joined the Communist Resistance. He writes about that in his newly translated memoir, The Patagonian Hare.
Tayari Jones has written for McSweeney's, The New York Times and The Believer. Her most recent book is Silver Sparrow.
Like many Americans, I have been glued to the television eager for details about the tragic murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. I am not sure what I hoped to discover, as each new piece of evidence is more disturbing than the last.