I wonder how many of the nearly 30,000 people who have signed the e-petition to bring back the death penalty have ever heard of Todd Willingham. He was executed in Texas in February 2004 for the murder of his three young children, despite consistently protesting his innocence and serious doubts about the scientific evidence used to convict him.
Normally I associate the 1980s with the Thatcher government, the miners’ strike, the Falklands war and alarming fashion decisions. I often forget it was also the decade that saw the end of apartheid in South Africa and the Berlin wall. But watching the Arab Spring spread across the Middle East has reminded me that these international events had as big an influence on me as did events on my own doorstep.