US president Barack Obama  at the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in  Oklahoma on Thursday. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Figures on the size and make-up of the prison population in the US explain why Barack Obama is aiming to fix the country’s “broken system” of criminal(...)

Florida free: a demonstration supporting Trayvon Martin in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

In 2010, Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, fired a warning shot to scare off her abusive husband during a row at her home, in Florida,(...)