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This is America: 9 out of 10 public schools now hold mass shooting drills for students

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How "active shooter" drills became normal for a generation of American schoolchildren.
"Are you kids good at running and screaming?" a police officer asks a class of elementary school kids in Akron, Ohio.
His friendly tone then turns serious.
“What I don’t want you to do is hide in the corner if a bad guy comes in the room,” he says. "You gotta get moving."
This training session — shared online by the ALICE Training Institute, a civilian safety training company — reflects the new normal at American public schools. As armed shooters continue their deadly rampages, and while Washington remains stuck on gun control, a new generation of American students have learned to lock and barricade their classroom doors the same way they learn to drop and roll in case of a fire.
The training session is a stark reminder of how American schools have changed since the 1999 Columbine school shooting. School administrators and state lawmakers have realized that a mass shoot…

Japan lawyers' group slams 'inhumane' death penalty, calls for suspension, national debate

Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center, Japan
Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center, Japan
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations on Wednesday condemned capital punishment as "inhumane" and called on Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki to set up an panel of experts to review the policy.

It said the body should start a national debate about a practice already abandoned in Europe and elsewhere.

The lawyers' group, an influential body representing Japan's legal profession, said the panel should include people for, against and neutral toward the death penalty.

The secrecy surrounding executions in Japan has been criticized at home and abroad, with neither death row inmates nor their lawyers and families given advance notice executions, which take place by hanging.

It is also unclear what criteria authorities use in deciding when inmates are to be executed, as some remain on death row for years.

Making its case, the group noted that 140 countries have abolished the death penalty by law or in practice as of the end of 2014. It also cited a recommendation by the U.N. Human Rights Committee that urged Japan to "give due consideration to the abolition of the death penalty."

The group said: "The death penalty is one of the most important human rights problems facing Japan."

Moreover, it called for a suspension of executions while the nation debates the policy.

"We have called for public debate over the abolition of capital punishment," the group said. "It is because the death penalty is an inhumane punishment and it eliminates the possibility of rehabilitating those who commit crimes."

It added: "Trials always carry a risk of misjudgment, and if a wrong judgment leads to capital punishment, it cannot be corrected."

Source: Japan Times, December 9, 2015

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