challenge | WAMC

challenge

Book cover for "The Good Hand"
Penguin/Random House

  Like thousands of restless men left unmoored in the wake of the 2008 economic crash, Michael Patrick Smith arrived in the fracking boomtown of Williston, North Dakota five years later homeless, unemployed, and desperate for a job. Renting a mattress on a dirty flophouse floor, he slept boot to beard with migrant men who came from all across America and as far away as Jamaica, Africa and the Philippines. They ate together, drank together, argued like crows and searched for jobs they couldn’t get back home. Smith’s goal was to find the hardest work he could do – to find out if he could do it.

His book this time in his life is "The Good Hand: A Memoir of Work, Brotherhood, and Transformation in an American Boomtown."

Picture of a judge's gavel
WikiMedia Commons

Connecticut public defenders hope to use the trial of a Bridgeport man as the venue to challenge the constitutionality of a new law that outlaws capital punishment in the state, but only for future crimes.

Richard Roszkowski is awaiting the penalty phase of his capital trial for the 2006 murders of his former girlfriend, her 9-year-old daughter and his former roommate.

Michael Courtney, head of the state Public Defender's Office capital defense unit, said Wednesday he plans to file a brief by August 7 in the case, challenging the state's right to seek the death penalty.