IF YOU are reading this from jail in Missouri you probably didn't receive the June 29th issue of The Economist (pictured at right). For this we apologise, though it wasn't our fault. We recently received a letter from the Missouri Department of Corrections informing us that the issue had been censored.

Was this a pre-emptive strike against oureditorialising on prison reform? Were Missouri officials unhappy with our endorsement of Barack Obama? Do they hate puppies? Up until 1974 any of those reasons might have been used to restrict prisoner mail. But that year the Supreme Court ruled that officials in California were violating prisoners' first-amendment rights by censoring mail for arbitrary reasons, like its political or religious content, or because it criticised the prison itself.

h/t Jeff Patterson