Monthly Archives: March 2002

A step forward for humanity?

In 1989, 13 years after the reinstatement of the death penalty in the USA, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no “national consensus” forbidding the execution of mentally retarded prisoners. But in the intervening years, 18 of the 38 states that provide for the death penalty have outlawed such action. Now the question has once again been argued before the USA’s highest court, which is expected to rule this summer on whether executing mentally retarded persons constitutes “cruel and ... Read More »

Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Smith was a hugely influential Scottish political economist and philosopher, best known for his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’. Adam Smith, c.1770  © Adam Smith’s exact date of birth is unknown, but he was baptised on 5 June 1723. His father, a customs officer in Kirkcaldy, died before he was born. He studied at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. He returned to Kircaldy in 1746 and two years later he was asked to give a series of public lectures in Edinburgh, ... Read More »