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Amherst College

Amherst College prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Located in a bustling university town in rural Western Massachusetts, Amherst is one of the premier U.S. liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,800 undergraduates from more than 50 countries and almost every state. Its student body is among the most socioeconomically, racially, ethnically and internationally diverse in the nation, and its financial aid program is among the most substantial. Small classes, an open curriculum and a focus on undergraduate education ensure that Amherst professors—who are leading scholars in their fields—interact daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world.

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Four of the 10 federal prisoners executed this year: Wesley Purkey, killed July 16; Dustin Honken, killed July 17; Brandon Bernard, killed Dec. 10; and Alfred Bourgeois, killed Dec. 11. In some cases, survivors of their victims addressed the court. AP Photo

When families of murder victims speak at death penalty trials, their anguish may make sentencing less fair

Victim impact statements give survivors a voice in the criminal justice process. But research shows their wrenching personal testimonies may not bring closure and can add racial bias into sentencing.
What happens when an election is contested? Gorilla Studio/Getty

A contested election: 6 essential reads

The presidential election outcome seems to be at least partially in dispute. Six scholars provide a history of contested elections in the US and explain what happens when the results are challenged.
A poll worker places vote-by-mail ballots into a ballot box set up at the Miami-Dade Election Department headquarters on Oct. 14, 2020 in Doral, Fla. Joe Raedle/Getty Images News via Getty

Judges used to stay out of election disputes, but this year lawsuits could well decide the presidency

Lawsuits are being argued in courthouses across the country over the conduct of the election. That could lead to the public losing confidence in the election's legitimacy.
The Florida legislature could play a role in deciding the 2020 presidential election. AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Could a few state legislatures choose the next president?

This is not the first time the prospect of state legislatures ignoring the popular vote and appointing their own slate of electors has arisen.
Armed white citizens and police have historically worked together in the U.S., though it’s not clear whether that’s what’s happening here. George Frey/Getty Images

Vigilantism, again in the news, is an American tradition

For many Americans, law and order has long been as much a private matter as something for the government to handle.
Gerald Dent, left, is joined by James Featherstone and Niles Ringgold at a rally for felon voting rights, in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 10, 2020. Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Stripping voting rights from felons is about politics, not punishment

Recent efforts to restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, a crucial Democratic constituency, could have important implications for the 2020 presidential election.
Milwaukee voters wait in a social-distancing line, some wearing masks, before voting in the state’s spring elections on April 7. AP Photo/Morry Gash

Why the Supreme Court made Wisconsin vote during the coronavirus crisis

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has reversed its decadeslong practice of protecting voters' rights and removing barriers to casting ballots.
Hungarian police officers check cars at the closed Austria-Hungary border, March 18, 2020. Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus versus democracy: 5 countries where emergency powers risk abuse

National emergencies allow for the purest expressions of sovereign power, testing the government’s commitment to human rights. Some leaders are failing the coronavirus test, experts say.

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