The widow of the doctor whose signature is on President Obama's birth certificate was honored to learn of her husband's role in bringing the future president into the world and hoped the document would end debate over his citizenship.
"It is a great thrill and a great honor and I had no idea," Ivalee Sinclair, an Obama supporter, said Wednesday in a phone interview from her home in Honolulu, Hawaii.
"I was just overwhelmed with the news."
David Sinclair's name appears as the attending physician on the live birth certificate that the White House released Wednesday in response to doubts over his citizenship. The "birther debate" has waxed and waned since Obama's presidential campaign, returning with renewed vigor last week due in large part to the efforts of billionaire entrepreneur Donald Trump.
A state-by-state study has found that four in 10 offenders return to prison within three years of their release, a figure that has held steady for the past 30 years despite massive state spending increases on prisons, the Pew Center on the States said Wednesday.
Figures vary widely across the 33 states that provided data for "The Revolving Door of America's Prisons" report, with 17 states reporting a drop in recidivism rates, 15 claiming an increase and one reporting no change between 1999 and 2004. Oregon reported the steepest drop, at 31.9%, and South Dakota reported the highest increase, at 34.9%.
The number of offenders returning for new crimes also varied significantly among states, from 44.7% in Alaska to 4.7% in Montana, the report said. Technical violations of parole - such as failure to attend drug treatment or testing positive for drugs or alcohol - were similarly wide-ranging, from 40.3% in Missouri to 0% in Arkansas, the report said. Technical violations also accounted for the bulk of returns to prison.
The report attempts to highlight successful alternatives to incarceration in states that saw the biggest drops in recidivism, giving taxpayers "a solid return on their investment in public safety," said Adam Gelb, director of Pew's Public Safety Performance Project.
"We know so much more today than we did 30 years ago, when prisons became the weapon of choice in our country's fight against crime," Gelb said. "There are new technologies, new strategies that are far more effective and less expensive than $29,000-per-year taxpayer-funded prison cells."
[Updated at 6:28 p.m.] Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday that his recent proclamation designating April as Confederate History Month "contained a major omission."
"The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed," McDonnell said in a written statement. "The abomination of slavery divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Civil War. Slavery was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation. In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly approved a formal statement of 'profound regret' for the Commonwealth's history of slavery, which was the right thing to do.
McDonnell also noted that while Virginia had been the Capitol of the Confederacy, it was also the first state in the nation to elect an African-American governor. "America's history has been written in Virginia," McDonnell said. "We cannot avoid our past; instead we must demand that it be discussed with civility and responsibility."
[Posted at 3:47 p.m.] For the first time in eight years, Virginia's Republican governor has issued a proclamation declaring April as Confederate History Month in the state, drawing criticism from Democrats and a civil rights group.