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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…

U.S. Supreme Court declines death penalty case

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would not hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty.

The appeal was filed on behalf of Shonda Walter, who was sentenced to death in May 2006 for murdering her next door neighbor with a hatchet and stealing his car.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania upheld the lower court's death sentence, saying the court found the evidence sufficient to support her conviction for 1st-degree murder.

In appealing the decision to the Supreme Court, Walter asked the justices to weigh in on whether the imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

The court did not give any statement supporting or dissenting from its decision to reject the case.

Court watchers have been expecting the justices to take up the constitutionality of the death penalty in light of a dissent by Justice Stephen Breyer last year. Experts said Breyer's dissent provided a blueprint for a broad challenge to capital punishment.

Justice Antonin Scalia, a member of the court's conservative wing, said in September that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, suggesting there are at least 4 justices who hold that view.

The court appears to be waiting for the right case to weigh in.

The case that was declined on Monday is Walter v. Pennsylvania.

Source: AP, January 25, 2016


Supreme Court Rejects Appeal to Outlaw Death Penalty

The Supreme Court is rejecting a Pennsylvania inmate's appeal to consider banning the death penalty across the United States.

The justices did not comment Monday in turning away a challenge from death row inmate Shonda Walter.

Walter's appeal plays off Justice Stephen Breyer's call in an impassioned dissent in June to re-evaluate the death penalty in light of problems involving its imposition and use.

Breyer renewed his plea last week when he was the lone justice willing to give a last-minute reprieve to an Alabama death row inmate who was later put to death.

Source: Associated Press, January 25, 2016

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