For weeks now, the media has been pouring out news about former South African President Nelson Mandela's illness and repeated hospital stays. Meanwhile, the South African government has been saying for days that Mandela – who turns 95 on Thursday (July 18) – is in "critical but stable condition," possibly suggesting he is on life-support machines.
Mandela's high profile, say South African legal experts, makes it very difficult for someone as visible as this global icon to do advance care planning for the end of his life. Yet planning ahead with written forms is just what more and more people will have to do in an era of high-tech medicine and potentially unnatural life prolongation.
No information is currently available as to whether the human-rights icon ever wrote a so-called "advance directive," or chose a health care proxy – someone to make medical decisions for him if he became incapacitated.
(CNN) – Trayvon Martin's gray hoodie has become arguably one of the most iconic pieces of evidence used in a criminal case.
Now that a verdict has been rendered in the George Zimmerman trial, the evidence goes back to the Sanford Police Department and, eventually, to its rightful owner. But what does that mean for Martin's hoodie?
Sanford Police Capt. Jim McAuliffe says personal property of a person who has passed away usually goes to his or her estate. But since Martin died when he was only 17 years old, he likely didn't have a will. According to Florida's law of intestate succession, when someone dies without a spouse or descendants, the parents of the deceased inherit everything.
One million people have so far signed an online petition on the NAACP's website calling for federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Three days after Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter after a February 2012 confrontation with Martin, thousands have taken to the streets and the digital highways to call for federal action.
"The most fundamental of civil rights – the right to life – was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin," the petition reads. "We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation."
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder, a longtime target of Republicans who have tried to force him out of office, now faces the prospect of angering liberal supporters when the Justice Department decides whether to file federal charges in the Trayvon Martin killing.
Civil rights groups are planning nationwide vigils, and more than a million people support an online petition drive calling for admitted shooter George Zimmerman to face federal charges in the February 2012 killing.
Holder confronted that political pressure Tuesday in a speech to the NAACP, which is conducting the petition drive.
Last weekend the weather in Washington, D.C., was unpredictable. One minute the sun would be shining and the clouds kept at bay, and then suddenly that once-optimistic sky would tip over, pouring out all the rain.
The same can be said of the shifting mood among the more than 50,000 members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. as they marked their organization's centennial in the nation's capital. It was a celebration filled with laughter, pride and happiness that midway through changed in tone, coinciding with the news that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, would walk free. The winds had changed.
On Friday, a day before the verdict was handed down, I hosted a group of my chapter sorors at my home. We excitedly swapped paraphernalia, dug through my closets for any hint of crimson or cream, put on our letters and headed to the Lincoln Memorial for "Deltas on the National Mall."
No one was hurt or killed when 31-year-old Marissa Alexander fired a warning shot into the air in Aug. 1, 2010.
But she remains in a Florida prison after being sentenced July 12, 2012 for a conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
A Florida judge rejected her self-defense assertion. The mother of three children who had no police record was found guilty of firing a shot into a wall as a warning shot to ward off her allegedly abusive husband against whom she had a protective order.
She told police she was in fear for her life, as she had been many times before at the hands of her husband, Rico Gray. Gray had flown into a jealous rage that night after seeing text messages and baby pictures sent by Alexander to an ex-husband.
The friend who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin when his fatal confrontation with George Zimmerman began said Monday she is "disappointed, upset, angry, questioning and mad" at Zimmerman's acquittal on murder charges.
Rachel Jeantel called the verdict "BS" and said Martin, 17, was never aggressive.
"He was a calm, chill, loving person who loved his family, definitely his mother, and a good friend," Jeantel told CNN's "Piers Morgan Live."