Invoking Lennie as its benchmark, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals announced rules that fail to protect persons with intellectual disability from execution. Because of these unscientific and fictional standards, Robert Ladd, a man who has an IQ of 67, faces the death chamber this Thursday.
I am disheartened by the decision made by Senator John Cornyn, the incoming Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, to remove "Civil Rights" and "Human Rights" from the name of the Subcommittee.
I've been waiting a lifetime for a film like Black or White. Growing up biracial in the mid-70s and late 80's, I wondered when I would get to see myself up there on the big screen too. Where were the blended interracial families like mine?
As the minority-majority population becomes more of a reality, Hollywood has to go through a metamorphosis. I would guess that most smart executives know this and are looking for the kinds of partnerships that will keep them relevant. We must seize this opportunity and break down the tough walls of segregation in Hollywood.
Do you know your AGI from your ARM from your PMI? Or does the mere mention of those acronyms make you go, "Huh?" If you don't speak personal finance, don't worry -- we're here to help.
The songbirds whose drama reaches as high as the notes they hit are back for a third season of TV One's hit series, R&B Divas: LA.
We often think that issues are irrelevant because they do not directly affect us, but we forget that we can easily be the ones in an unfortunate situation at any moment.
It is a national disgrace that so many poor children live in the United States of America -- the world's richest economy. It doesn't have to be this way. It's costly. And it's the greatest threat to our future national, economic and military security.
As we reflect on Black History month, we must truly be proud of the contributions of the African Americans in every aspect of our society. African Americans, despite their history of oppression and exclusion, remain committed to America.
The 13th Amendment and the abolition of slavery is clearly worthy of celebration. Yet abolition did not have to take so long, do so little, or at such an awful cost.
For change to happen, we must focus our resources on mechanisms of support. There is another way forward that does not involve punishment or jail. It's time to stop criminalizing victims and provide help instead.
This is not just an educational but an economic issue and as such, every segment of society should support the president's efforts to find ways to expand early childhood education access for all children.
"I don't have celebrities in my phone or on my speed dial. When I finish The Wendy Williams Show I head back home to New Jersey. I like to be home with my family."
This is about more than awards deferred; it is about dreams deferred. It is about the lack of racial and gender diversity we find both behind the screen and in front of it. It is about the inevitable way the Academy's membership roll directly influences who gets nominated and who wins.
A gulf remains today in our nation between the "haves" and "have-nots," and there are few examples as glaring as the disparities that exist in our public schools.
We need to tell new stories. We need to see new actors who look, sound and act like the real America. Racism is not just a concept. It is as staring down at us from the big and small screens.
More than 86 percent of students in Maryland are earning diplomas within four years, a record-high graduation rate for the state, according to data released Tuesday. Maryland state officials celebrated the achievement, noting that the rate has risen more than four percentage points since 2010.
I stayed away from my country for 11 years, raising my three daughters in the calm and safety of Canada. I decided I could not let everything my husband tried to achieve be forgotten or destroyed. When I landed back in Mogadishu, I was amazed by what I saw. And what shocked me most was what had happened to women.
Arguably two of the most talented singers in the record books, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have made names for themselves as commercially successful pop vocalists.
The careers of the two iconic beauties mirrored each other throughout the 1990s, with many people drawing comparisons between them. Both women were aligned with two of the most influential men in the music business, Tommy Mottola and Clive Davis, respectively, and both have survived controversy only to rise to the top of the charts again and resurrect their careers.
In our latest round of Tale of the Tape, we stack up "Mimi" and "The Voice" to see whether they had more in common than just their cultural impacts.
(M) Place of Birth: Long Island, N.Y.
(W) Place of Birth: Newark, NJ
(M) Also Referred to As: "Mimi"
(W) Also Referred to As: "The Voice"
(M) Humble Beginnings: Carey's parents divorced when she was 3, leaving her mother to juggle several jobs to support the family. When the songstress moved to New York to pursue a singing career, she also worked several part-time jobs to pay the rent, in addition to attending beauty school and singing as a backup singer for several artists.
(W) Humble Beginnings: Whitney lived in housing projects in Newark, NJ. Her parents divorced when she was a teenager, and she chose to live with her mother. After performing her first gospel solo at New Hope Baptist Church at the age of 11, she was fortunate enough to sing background vocals on Chaka Khan's hit single 'I'm Every Woman.'
(M) Connections to the Business: Dance/pop singer Brenda K. Starr (Mariah was a background singer for the 'I Still Believe' singer)
(W) Connections to the Business: Blues and gospel singer Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom); Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick (Whitney's cousins) mariah and Whitney
(M) Album Debut: 'Mariah Carey' (1990)
(W) Album Debut: 'Whitney Houston' (1985)
(M) Record Company Affiliations: Columbia, Virgin, Island
(W) Record Company Affiliations: Arista
(M) Total Number-One Singles: 18
(W) Total Number-One Singles: 11
(M) Total Number-One Albums:6
(W) Total of Number-One Albums: 5
(M) Total Number of Albums Sold: Over 160 million (albums and singles)
(W)Total Number of Albums Sold: Over 140 million (albums)
(M)Total Marriages: 2
(W)Total Marriages: 1
(M) Children: 0
(W) Children: 1 (Bobbi Kristina with former New Edition singer Bobby Brown)
(M) Luther Vandross Affiliation: In 1994, Vandross and Carey recorded a duet of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's hit ballad 'Endless Love'
(W) Luther Vandross Affiliation: Vandross produced, arranged and performed background vocals on Houston's 'Who Do You Love' from her 1990 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' album
(M) Aretha Franklin Affiliation:Carey performed a duet of The Queen of Soul's 'Chain of Fools' with the legendary soul singer at the 1998 VH1 'Divas Live' television special.
(W) Aretha Franklin Affiliation: Franklin is Houston's godmother and appeared in a cameo in the 'How Will I Know' music video. The two also recorded a duet, 'It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be,' which appeared on Franklin's 1989 album Through the Storm. .'
(M) Antonio "L.A." Reid Affiliation: The LaFace founder executive produced Carey's 2005 comeback album 'The Emancipation of Mimi,' as well as her subsequent Island Records releases, including her new 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.'
(W)Antonio "L.A." Reid Affiliation: Reid, who previously produced songs on Houston's 'I'm Your Baby Tonight,' was Arista head when her lackluster 'Just Whitney' album was released. What was promoted as her comeback album was Houston's lowest selling album to date.
(M) Michael Jackson Affiliation: In 1992, Carey covered the Jackson 5's hit 'I'll Be There' alongside her background singer Trey Lorenz. She also sang the song at the late King of Pop's memorial service.
(W)Michael Jackson Affiliation: In 2001, the 'I Will Always Love You' singer made headlines when she opened the Michael Jackson '30 Anniversary Concert Concert' looking extremely thin.
(M) Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Affiliation: Elliott was featured alongside fellow female MC Da Brat on a remix to the 'Fantasy' singer's 'Heartbreaker.'
(W) Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Affiliation: The 'Supa Dupa Fly' rapper produced and appeared on two Houston tracks: 'In My Business' from 'My Love Is Your Love' and 'Things You Say' from 'Just Whitney.'
(M) Fugees Affiliation: Carey and the Fugees were both signed to Columbia Records in the 1990s. More recently, the Fugees' Wyclef Jean just recorded a song called 'Mr. Autotune' with Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, in 2009.
(W) Fugees Affiliation: Fugees front woman Lauryn Hill produced and sang background vocals on 'I Was Made To Love Him,' a spunky update of Stevie Wonder's 1960s classic 'I Was Made To Love Her' on Houston's 1998 CD 'My Love is Your Love.' Wyclef Jean produced what became Houston's third best-selling single and the album's title track 'My Love Is Your Love.'
(M) Disney Connections: Disney Connections: Mariah Carey has never produced a Disney movie, unlike Whitney, but she still has love for the happiest place on earth. Two weeks after her Bahamas shotgun wedding to Nick Cannon, the couple headed back to the states for a very public vacation at Walt Disney World Resort to relive their childhood dreams. The 'Fantasy' singer, who previously performed at the 2004 Disney Christmas Day Parade, and her new hubby took pictures with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and rode tons of rides, including Space Mountain and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
(W) Disney Connections: 'The Bodyguard' actress appeared alongside Brandy in the made-for-television movie 'Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella,' a revival of The Wonderful World of Disney series and produced by Disney. Houston has also served as a producer for the Disney franchises 'The Cheetah Girls' and 'The Princess Diaries.'
(M) Total Number of Movies: 6 (including 'Precious')
(W) Total Number of Movies: 4
(M) Movie Box Office Grosses: Over $239 million gross worldwide
(W) Movie Box Office Grosses: Over $525 million gross worldwide
(M) Controversies: Marrying a much younger Nick Cannon after dating the 'Bobby' star for just a few months.
(W) Controversies: Caught with marijuana in her and then-husband Bobby Brown's luggage on Jan. 11, 2000, at a Hawaii airport; getting fired from performing at the Academy Awards when she showed up jittery.
(M) Rehabilitations: Hospitalized in 2001 for exhaustion, which led to a physical and emotional breakdown
(W) Rehabilitations: Rumored to have entered drug rehabilitation programs several times in the past decade at the urgency of mentor Clive Davis and her mother Cissy Houston.
(M) Comeback Efforts: Many people counted the Grammy Award winner out of the music business until the release of her 2005 comeback album, 'The Emancipation of Mimi.' Not only did the critically acclaimed record garner 10 Grammy Award nominations, but it was also the biggest selling album of 2005 – amassing 10 million albums sold worldwide.
(W) Comeback Efforts: Houston's 2009 comeback album, 'I Look to You,' debuted at number one and became the best-selling first week sales of Houston's career. To date, 'I Look to You' is also the best selling album by a female in 2009.
(M) Best Friend Forever: Background singer Trey Lorenz
(W) Best Friend Forever: Former long-time executive assistant and childhood friend Robin Crawford
(M) Failed Vanity Projects: Founded short-lived Crave Records imprint, which most notably released R&B girl group Allure's debut project; Automatic Princess Jewelry line
(W) Failed Vanity Projects: Mentored Newark gospel group Sunday; the panned 'Family First' song with Houston, her mother, Cissy and her cousin Dionne Warwick, which was featured on the soundtrack to Tyler Perry's 'Daddy's Little Girls'
(M)Famous Boyfriends: Mexican singer Luis Miguel, New York Yankee baseball player Derek Jeter
(W) Famous Boyfriends: R&B singer/sex tape star Ray J, movie star Eddie Murphy, NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham
(M) Family Feuds: Carey's estranged HIV-positive sister Alison, who has been arrested twice for prostitution, shopped a tell-all book about her multi-millionaire sister in 2000. The tome was never released.
(W) Family Feuds: In 2002, associates for Houston's 81-year-old father, John Houston, sued the pop star for $100 million, claiming unpaid compensation for helping negotiate her Arista Records contact. Houston claimed the dispute arose by people attempting to take advantage of her ailing father, and the suit was later dismissed.
(M) TV Interviews Gone Wild: In 2001, pushing an ice cream cart, Carey appeared on the popular MTV video countdown show 'Total Request Live' for an interview with VJ Carson Daly to promote her 'Glitter' movie. Wearing a small T-shirt and booty shorts, Carey performed a striptease and slurred "I just want one day off when I can go swimming and eat ice cream and look at rainbows." Carey checked into the hospital for exhaustion shortly thereafter.
(W) TV Interviews Gone Wild: The Whitney Houston quotable "Crack is Wack" came from her infamous Diane Sawyer sit-down in 2002. When questioned about her rumored drug use, the troubled singer asked Sawyer to "show her the receipts" for the drugs, among other things. The interview was one of the last that Houston did before taking a hiatus from the media. Her first televised interview since Sawyer did not come until 2009 with a widely-publicized two-day special appearance on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.'
(M) Famous Celebrity Battles: Detroit rapper Eminem and Carey were at one point rumored to be a couple, then things got ugly. She recorded diss records like 'Clown' and her current single 'Obsessed' aimed at the 'Slim Shady' lyricist. And though, the 'Precious' star is sticking to her story that she never slept with Eminem, he maintains otherwise. He dished on being intimate with her and replied to her latest hit with a song called 'The Warning,' directed at both the singer and her latest husband, Nick Cannon.
(W) Famous Celebrity Battles: Houston and radio-shock-jock-turned-talk-show-host Wendy Williams had an on-air beef that played out in 2003 in which Williams questioned Houston about her rumored drug use. Houston responded with curse words, most notably charging, "If this were back in the day in Newark, I'd meet you outside, but not now, because I'm a lady with class." The New York Times best-selling author has since said she has buried the hatchet and is eager to have the 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' singer on her syndicated talk show.