Alex Hannaford

alexhannaford
Alex Hannaford writes about the death penalty, crime, prisons, religion and human interest issues for the Telegraph, Times and Guardian in the UK, and to GQ, The Nation and the Texas Observer.

By Alex Hannaford:

 

No Exit

by | Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm CST
July 2016 postcard ostrich farm
Culture

Feathering Their Nest

A Cottonwood family resurrects the once-hot business of raising ostriches.

A Cottonwood family hopes to resurrect the once-hot business of raising ostriches — that is, if Americans will stop being so squirrely about their food. Read More

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Criminal Justice

Above the Law

Pamela Elliott was the new sheriff in town. But instead of law and order, she brought chaos.

Pamela Elliott was the new sheriff in town. But instead of law and order, she brought chaos — voter intimidation and botched investigations — to West Texas. Read More

Iyad Al-Afandi (far right) with his wife Lina (second from left), daughter Noor and sons Nawar (center) and Homam at their home in Richardson.
Border

‘Refugees Are Victims of the Very Thing You Are Afraid Of’

Despite an uncertain welcome in Texas, these Syrian families are trying to rebuild their lives after fleeing civil unrest and violence half a world away.

The Al Afandi family is part of an exodus of four million displaced Syrian refugees (there are an estimated 7.6 million internally displaced within Syria). Most of those who fled the country live in camps in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands have somehow made it to Europe, sometimes braving the Mediterranean in unseaworthy craft. Read More

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Criminal Justice

Letters from Death Row: The Biology of Trauma

New studies show that trauma biologically alters the brains of young boys in ways that affect their adult behavior.

Texas executes more of its citizens—almost all of them men—than any other state. New studies show that trauma biologically alters the brains of young boys in ways that affect their adult behavior, raising the moral implications of the death penalty. Read More

bible-in-front-of-inmate-ap-images
Criminal Justice

Letters from Death Row: Faith Behind Bars

An informal Observer survey finds complex religious beliefs among death row inmates.

Solitary confinement forces many inmates to do a lot of soul-seeking, but despite the misconceptions, not all death row inmates turn to religion for solace. In fact, some lose their faith in a prison system that denies their humanity. Read More

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

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 to never leave their cells, never leaving their cells can exacerbate—or even cause—mental illness. Read More

Hohn Road, near the proposed site for the controversial fracking waste pits.
Environment

Pit Stop

Nordheim inherits the waste, and few of the profits, from the South Texas oil boom.

Tiny Nordheim, Texas, is reaping the costs of of the South Texas oil boom but little of its profits. Read More

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