Các game thủ chuyên nghiệp của trò Dungeons & Dragons: tử tù Mỹ
ngày nay, ở Texas có khoảng 200 tử tù, ít hơn 1/2 lúc đỉnh năm 1999, xu hướng giảm hơn 20 năm qua, vì chi phí truy tố và bảo vệ các vụ kiện đã tăng vọt, và dư luận không còn ủng hộ án tử hình nữa...
D.&D. had come out a decade earlier (in the 1970s) with little fanfare (rất ít sự phô trương). It was a tabletop role-playing game (trò chơi nhập vai) known for its miniature figurines (bức tượng nhỏ) and 20-sided dice. Players were entranced by the way it combined a choose-your-own-adventure (cuộc phiêu lưu) structure with group performance. In D.&D., participants create their own characters — often magical creatures (sinh vật ma thuật) like elves (yêu tinh) and wizards (phù thủy) — to go on quests in fantasy worlds. A narrator and referee, known as the Dungeon Master, guides players through each twist and turn of the plot (tình tiết của cốt truyện). There’s an element of chance: The roll of the die (tung xúc sắc) can determine if a blow is strong enough to take down a monster (quái vật) or whether a stranger will help you. The game has since become one of the most popular in the world, celebrated (được tôn vinh) in nostalgic television shows (chương trình truyền hình hoài cổ) and dramatized (kịch hóa) in movies. It is played in homes, at large conventions and even in prisons (tù).
...Back then, death row (tử tù) for men was located in a prison near Huntsville, where hundreds lived in tiny cells. The men were allowed to hang out together, watch television, play basketball and go to work at prison jobs. And because they were locked behind bars rather than solid doors, they could call out to one another and talk. That was how, one day, Ford caught familiar words drifting down from the cells above him, phrases like, “I’ll cast a spell!” “Aren’t there too many of them?” “I think you have to roll.”
It was the sound of Dungeons & Dragons.
Roughly 200 people are on death row in Texas today, less than half the peak population in 1999. The number of people sentenced to death each year has declined over the past two decades in Texas and across the country as the cost of prosecuting (truy tố) and defending (bào chữa) death-penalty cases has ballooned (tăng vọt) and public support (sự ủng hộ của công chúng) for capital punishment (án tử hình) has dropped.
While fewer prisoners arrive on death row each year, they languish there far longer. Some states have had difficulty procuring execution drugs, and landmark court rulings have banned executions of people deemed “insane” or intellectually disabled.