Politicised show trials, error-strewn and near-racist courtrooms, mistakes corrected decades after the fact, ethically indefensible overlaps between judicial and medical protocols, ghoulishly botched attempted executions... all these and more are actually fairly typical of the 21st-century death penalty, not rare aberrations.
We all need to do our bit to look after it. It's not always easy being green but there's loads of things we can all do to do our bit. To show my support for the planet this Saturday I'll be heading down to London's Southbank Centre to take part in WWF's annual event Earth Hour.
In a world where everyone is so busy and constantly on the go, it's very rare that we get to stop and think about the things that are important to us. Last week, it was refreshing to see a campaign which cut through the noise and saw people come together to take action for a very worthy cause.
To achieve a sustainable change in attitude towards alcohol consumption, brewers need to also address this challenge by using their brands to promote moderate drinking behaviour - consumers relate to brands and are often fiercely loyal to them, so that is where we need to take this battle.
Taking full advantage of the opportunity for peace in the Philippines will require a sustained effort on the part of central and local governments, by the rebel movements, as well as in civil society and the business community, over many years. Some of the factors they will need to take into account were identified at by our taxi driver last night.
whatever their ability everyone raised the bar and challenged themselves. Endured a little something, pushed a little further than they usually would, all for a great cause. Some may also have exorcised the exercise demons (sorry) and may feel inspired to take a new path, taking control of their health and well being.
One of the biggest justifications for the death penalty is that it supposedly acts as a deterrent against committing the most serious crimes. But let's call this argument what it really is: wishful thinking. There is simply no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters from crime more than other forms of punishments. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.
Within 48 hours this hugely powerful, influential organisation has turned the clock back to a form of a self-obsessed medieval barbarism that beggars belief. I guess no-one at World Vision USA has ever met a suicidal gay teen who labours under the heavy weight of guilt and shame this $1billion a year business foists upon them.
We need to focus as never before on the poorest and most vulnerable communities across the country, investing above all in the infrastructure of basic health and education services that will help lift people out of poverty. Afghanistan needs more schools, more health clinics and more trained teachers and health professionals to staff them.
Rejoice! The ban on same-sex marriage in England and Wales is being finally lifted after a campaign for its repeal that lasted 43 years. The ban was imposed for the first time in 1971. Previously, there was no legal prohibition on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) couples getting married. The outlawing of same-sex marriage is a recent and historically brief invention by what was a deeply homophobic political and religious establishment. At last, in the first few seconds of 29 March, the ban on same-sex marriage is history. Equal marriage will become a reality. Hurrah!
The government should take this opportunity to think very carefully about whether the WCA is the right assessment to continue with. At the very least they shouldn't bind the next government to lengthy contracts for delivering WCAs if that will hinder the opportunity to give the WCA the massive overhaul, even total replacement, that it very much needs.
Harrison is now nearly 8, and we live each day with the knowledge that because he's got a duplication of an exon of his dystrophin gene, his symptoms continue to progress and he continues on a steady and rapid physical decline.
All too often disabled people are being hit the hardest by this Government's spending cuts. Many disabled people are struggling to make ends meet as they face long delays for assessment for PIP, have been hit by the bedroom tax and experience cuts to social care. In reality, the only way to keep spending below the newly announced welfare cap will be to restrict benefits for this same group.
Current structures are not well organised to locate children like these, nor provide essential early help. As re-organisation follows re-organisation, and with reduced budgets, the inevitable step is to focus on the most urgent situations.
At times, I confess to feeling more than a little guilty; Guilty for surviving when so many others who were diagnosed after me, and who were younger than I, have since died. Guilty for going on about the cancer long after the drama of treatment has finished. Guilty for not always remembering to be thankful and seize the day. And guilty for all the trouble and worry I put my loved ones through.
When the selfies first started appearing in our Cancer Research UK newsfeeds, a few of our supporters got in touch on Facebook and Twitter to ask if we'd started the campaign. We tweeted that it wasn't ours but that we appreciated the sentiment, and we directed people to our website if they wanted to get involved with our work to beat cancer sooner. Less than 12 hours later, we'd been retweeted hundreds of times and we were seeing more and more selfies appearing from people saying they were doing it for us. We knew we needed to act fast so we took a picture of a team member without makeup holding a sign with our text to donate code.