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Daniel Lopez, 23, waits in Polunsky Unit's visiting room for guards to escort him back to his cell on death row.by Alex Hannaford

Letters from Death Row: Alone on the Inside

In an informal Observer survey, death row inmates describe a world of extreme isolation, where mental illness is both cause and symptom.

The Observer found that prisoners often choose a life of permanent isolation, refusing to leave their cages. It’s a catch-22: Mental illness can lead inmates ...Read More

Kristen Katz and Julie Gavranby Kelsey Jukam

Gun Control Activists Fight to be Heard at Capitol

Opponents of open carry and campus carry say their access to lawmakers has sometimes been limited, even as the most extreme gun activists get meetings with top elected officials.

Opponents of open carry and campus carry say their access to lawmakers has sometimes been limited, even as the most extreme gun activists get meetings with top ...Read More

Mel Chin "SEA to SEE"by Michael Agresta

Now You See It

Artist Mel Chin revisits home in Houston.

"Rematch," Mel Chin's overtly political career-retrospective exhibition, will dominate the Houston museum world for two months....Read More

A DPS training near McAllenby Melissa del Bosque

Death on Sevenmile Road

The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.

Beefing up border security means an increasingly military-style presence on the ground and in the air. The Observer investigates a surge that puts immigr...Read More

Opposition to Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance in November.by John Wright

Laws Of Unintended Consequences

Opponents claim religious freedom proposals could open the door to Sharia law, faith-based abortions and cost Houston the 2017 Super Bowl.

Two proposed religious freedom amendments to the Texas Constitution could lead to more than just anti-LGBT discrimination, according to legal experts. ...Read More

Karnes County Civil Detention Center, in Karnes City, Texasby Victoria Rossi

Seeking Asylum in Karnes City

An up-close-and-personal view of family detention in a for-profit lock-up in South Texas.

When women and children seeking asylum are detained in Texas, they encounter an immigration system that seems designed to discourage them at every turn....Read More

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