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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…

Florida set to conduct its first execution in a year and a half

Florida's death chamber
Florida's death chamber
Ahead of a planned resumption of executions in Florida on 24 August, 18 months after the last one, Amnesty International is issuing a paper on recent developments relating to the death penalty in the US state.

Death in Florida” outlines the state’s response to the January 2016 US Supreme Court decision that Florida’s capital sentencing law was unconstitutional, and the governor’s reaction to a prosecutor’s subsequent decision to reject the death penalty.

When State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she would not seek the death penalty due to its demonstrable flaws, Governor Scott immediately responded by ordering her replacement with a different prosecutor more willing to engage in this lethal pursuit. 

So far the Governor has transferred 26 cases to his preferred prosecutor.

Racial discrimination was one of the death penalty’s flaws – along with its costs, risks and failure as a deterrent – cited by State Attorney Ayala, the first African American to be elected to that position in Florida.

“Here are two officials taking very different approaches to the overwhelming evidence that the death penalty is a failed policy,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“One says drop it, it is a waste of resources, prone to discrimination, arbitrariness and error. The other says crank up the machinery of death.

“One is acting consistently with international human rights principles. The other is not.”

Background Information


The prisoner set to be executed on 24 August at 6pm is Mark Asay, who was sent to death row in 1988 for two murders committed in 1987. 

The last execution in Florida was of Oscar Bolin on 7 January 2016, five days before the US Supreme Court issued its Hurst v. Florida ruling that the state’s capital sentencing statute was unconstitutional.

Source: Amnesty International, August 21, 2017


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