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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…

Singapore: Joint Statement on Imminent Execution of Kho Jabing

Kho Jabing
Kho Jabing
We, the undersigned, are troubled by the imminent execution of Jabing Kho in Singapore, despite strong concerns over the development of his case. We believe there are strong grounds for President Tony Tan of the Republic of Singapore to grant clemency in this case.

The family of Sarawakian Jabing Kho, 31, received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service on 12 May 2016 informing them that his execution had been scheduled for 20 May 2016. Jabing was convicted of murder in 2011.

The announcement came as a shock to the family and all involved in campaigning for Jabing. We had been under the impression that the authorities would allow his lawyer to submit a fresh clemency appeal on his behalf after the criminal motion filed in late 2015 was dismissed in April this year. His lawyer had sent President Tony Tan a holding letter informing them of his intention to file a new clemency petition, and had been in the process of drafting it when the execution was scheduled.

On 13 May 2016, Jabing's lawyer received a letter from the President saying that he would be willing to consider a clemency petition if it is filed, but will not be postponing the scheduled execution. Considering that past practice shows that the President usually takes 3 months before any decision regarding clemency is announced, we are concerned that this current state of affairs will leave the Cabinet and the President with insufficient time to properly consider a fresh plea from Jabing.

We do not condone Jabing's crime, nor do we seek to erase the hurt he has caused to the victim's family. Yet the course of Jabing's case has been tumultuous and traumatic. Due to amendments made to Singapore's mandatory death penalty regime and appeals lodged by the prosecution, Jabing had, over the years, been sentenced to death, then life imprisonment (with caning), then death again. This back-and-forth has taken a horrific toll not just on Jabing as the inmate, but his family.

Furthermore, 1 High Court judge and 2 Judges of Appeal had not believed that the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for Jabing Kho, as they felt that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that he had exhibited a "blatant disregard for human life". (See Annex A, attached at the end of this statement, for relevant excerpts of the judges' ruling.)

The death penalty does not simply exact an irreversible punishment, but also imposes emotional and psychological tolls on both the inmate and the family and we oppose it unconditionally. Having been re-sentenced twice, from death to life and back again, Jabing and his family have already been put through a deeply painful process. The knowledge that 3 respected and honourable judges hold the belief that the current punishment does not fit the crime simply makes the situation doubly hard to bear.

We believe that Jabing Kho's case presents very strong and persuasive grounds for clemency, and that his death sentence should be immediately be set aside and commuted to life imprisonment as allowed by Singapore's Constitution.

We therefore urge the Cabinet of Singapore to advise President Tony Tan to grant clemency to Jabing Kho without delay and re-establish a moratorium on executions as a 1st step towards the abolition of the death penalty.

Signed:

Local Organisations

Community Action Network

Function8

Maruah

Sayoni

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC)

Think Centre

We Believe in Second Chances

Regional/International Organisations

Advocates Association of Sarawak

Amnesty International

Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN)

Center for Orang Asli Concerns

Civil Rights Committee KLSCAH

Damn the Dams

Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

People's Green Coalition

Reprieve Australia

Sembang-sembang Forum

Suara Rakyat Malaysia

Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP)

The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence

Victims' Family Organisations

Center for Prisoner's Rights Japan

Journey of Hope

Ocean

Individuals

Abdul Rashid bin Bakar, relative of inmate on death row in Singapore

Atiqah bte Zaimi, relative of inmate on death row in Singapore

Haminah bte Abu Bakar, relative of inmate on death row in Singapore

Idros Ismail, brother of inmate on death row in Singapore

Jolene Tan, writer and activist

Kokila Annamalai, activist and community organiser

Letchumy Arumugam, mother of inmate on death row in Singapore

Marilyn Siew, activist

M Ravi, anti-death penalty activist

Osman bin Bakar, relative of inmate on death row in Singapore

Priya Ratha Krishnan, fiancee of inmate on death row in Singapore

Sangeetha Thanapal, activist

Saraswathy Kataiah, sister of inmate on death row in Singapore

Sean Francis Han, activist

Sharmila Rockey, sister of inmate on death row in Singapore

Syida Ismail, sister of inmate on death row in Singapore

Tan Tee Seng, activist

Vanessa Ho, activist

Zaimi Bin Abdul Rahman, relative of inmate on death row in Singapore

Zarah bte Abu Bakar, relative of inmate on death row in Singapore

Source: wordpress.com, May 14, 2016 (wr)


Group appeals to President Tony Tan over Malaysian's impending execution

A coalition of NGOs and individuals have urged Singapore president Tony Tan to grant clemency to Malaysian Kho Jabing who is due to be executed next week for a murder he committed 8 years ago.

In a statement, the coalition said the announcement of Jabing's execution came as a shock to the family and all involved in campaigning for him as they were under the impression that the authorities would allow his lawyer to submit a fresh clemency appeal on his behalf. This was after a criminal motion filed in late 2015 was dismissed last month.

The coalition said that Jabing's lawyer had sent President Tony Tan a holding letter informing the former's intention to file a new clemency petition, and had been in the process of drafting it when the execution was scheduled.

Jabing's family received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service on Thursday about the execution that has been scheduled for May 20.

On May 13, Jabing's lawyer received a letter from the President saying that he would be willing to consider a clemency petition if it is filed, but will not be postponing the scheduled execution.

"Considering that past practice shows that the President usually takes 3 months before any decision regarding clemency is announced, we are concerned that this current state of affairs will leave the Cabinet and the President with insufficient time to properly consider a fresh plea from Jabing," the coalition said in a statement on Saturday.

The coalition is made up of groups such as We Believe in Second Chances, Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, Amnesty International and others.

It added that Jabing's case presented very strong and persuasive grounds for clemency, and that his death sentence should be immediately be set aside and commuted to life imprisonment as allowed by Singapore's Constitution.

"We therefore urge the Cabinet of Singapore to advise President Tony Tan to grant clemency to Jabing Kho without delay and re-establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty," it said.

Source: asiaone.com, May 14, 2016

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