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

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…

Dylann Roof, Charleston church shooter, gets nine life sentences

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was given nine consecutive life sentences in state prison after he pleaded guilty to state murder charges Monday, leaving him to await execution in a federal prison and sparing his victims and their families the burden of a second trial.

Judge J.C. Nicholson imposed the sentences following a hearing in which church members and Roof’s grandfather testified about the personal toll of the case.

Standing at the defense table with his attorneys, clad in a gray and white striped jail jumpsuit and handcuffed to a chain at his waist, the self-avowed white supremacist entered his guilty pleas.

Under a plea agreement, Judge J.C. Nicholson sentenced Roof to life in prison on the state murder charges. The deal with state prosecutors, who also had been pursuing the death penalty, came in exchange for a life prison sentence on the state charges.

But before sentencing Roof, Nicholson heard members of historically black Emanuel AME Church describe the toll the June 2015 shooting took on them and their community.

“The impact at Mother Emanuel has been far reaching,” said Pastor Eric Manning, who currently leads Emanuel’s congregation. “We visit the crime scene every day.”

Blondelle Gadsden, sister of slain Myra Thompson, said, “Even though we’re at a point where death has been the sentence for him, my heart still goes out to him in hopes that he would repent to save himself from himself. I can’t think of anything worse that he could do at this point than to not accept Christ and try to make his days on this earth a little bit more peaceful.”

But Eva Dilligard, whose sister Susie Jackson was slain by Roof, said, “I think somebody doing something like that, he should get death. ... I’m very sorry. I’m a child of God. But he hurt the entire family.”

The judge also heard from Roof’s grandfather, Columbia attorney Joe Roof.

“I want everyone to understand that nothing is all bad, and Dylann is not all bad,” the elder Roof said. He added that he and his wife pray for the Emanuel families every night, and are sensitive to their problems.

“We have been distressed and just sick over what has happened to these families,” the grandfather said.

Dylann Roof had been unapologetic at his federal trial as he listened to days of testimony from survivors. They described in harrowing detail the hail of bullets that began when parishioners closed their eyes to pray during a Bible study.

After Monday’s hearing, Roof, 23, will return to a local jail, while technically in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, until he’s transferred to a Bureau of Prisons facility “in short order,” a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press.

The official spoke on a condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Roof will be taken to a federal prison in another state, where he will await his execution on charges of hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion.

Roof was convicted late last year of 33 federal charges. He was sentenced to death during a separate proceeding earlier this year.

Source: CBS News, April 2017

Lack of lethal injection drugs among prosecutor's reasons for skipping 2nd Roof trial

South Carolina's inability to carry out death penalty was one of the reasons the Charleston-area solicitor chose not to continue with a second death penalty trial against Dylann Roof, she said Monday.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson repeatedly had said she would seek the death penalty against Roof even though the federal government was seeking to do the same. But she said on Monday there were several reasons why she hashed out a plea agreement with Roof instead of proceeding with a state trial.

"Our mission, and over the past few weeks since the federal government obtained the federal conviction, was to see what we could do to ensure the surest path to Dylann Roof's execution," Wilson said. "With us securing a life sentence just in case - in the very, very unlikely event that something were to happen to the federal conviction - we have our conviction in place."

On Monday, Roof pleaded guilty to 9 counts of murder and 3 counts of attempted murder in state court for the slayings of 9 African-American parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston the night of June 17, 2015. As part of the plea agreement, Roof was sentence to 9 sentences of life in prison.

But Roof was sentenced to death by a federal judge in January, after a jury found him guilty on 33 counts, 9 of them involving hate crimes. Wilson said she - and at times her staff - attended that trial. She said it was one of the most "gut-wrenching" experiences she has had in her life.

Putting the survivors and the families of those killed in the shooting through a 2nd death penalty trial "was not the smartest, wisest or most compassionate thing to do," when a federal judge had already imposed a death sentenced on Roof, a Columbia-area white supremacist.

Wilson also said she believed the federal government is now "more committed" to the death penalty than in the past, and that she expects it will be implemented.

But she added that South Carolina also doesn't have the drugs to carry out the execution.

South Carolina's last supply of lethal injection drugs expired in 2013. The state has been unable to obtain alternative drugs, because pharmaceutical companies that previously compounded the drugs have been pressured into ending the practice.

"It may be that in the future that we are able to secure the drug that is used for executions, but it's not our present," Wilson said.

"If South Carolina and the state courts were the only option for pursuing the death penalty, I would have pursued it," she said. "But because we have a death sentence in place now, I do not believe it's necessary."

Source: thestate.com, April 11, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.

Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 30 Days)

Florida: Emilia Carr resentenced to life in prison

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford on death row in Bali faces losing last-ditch appeal

Texas: Supreme Court rejects Larry Swearingen's plea for DNA testing

Capital Punishment and Extreme Mental Torture

New Mexico: Swift end for House bill to reinstate death penalty

Iran Executed Three Juvenile Offenders in January

Indiana: Marcus Dansby's death penalty case rescheduled for spring of 2019

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Nevada Inmate Serving 2 Life Terms Dead at Age 83, Decades After SCOTUS Overturned His Death Sentence

Iran: Authorities execute young man in exceptionally cruel circumstances