Author: By Mark Berman

Arkansas executed one death-row inmate. Three more executions are planned this month. – Washington Post

GOOGLE NEWS Arkansas executes its first inmate in 12 years after the U.S. Supreme Court clears the way for the lethal injection of 51-year-old Ledell Lee. (Reuters) For the first time since 2005, Arkansas executed a death-row inmate. Now the state is turning its attention to three more executions planned for the coming days. Arkansas has been the center of a frenzied battle over the death penalty since authorities there announced plans to execute eight inmates during an 11-day span ending next Thursday. Court orders have halted four of those scheduled lethal injections so far, preventing what would have...

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North Carolina lawmakers say they’ve agreed on a deal to repeal the bathroom bill – Washington Post

GOOGLE NEWS The North Carolina legislature met for a special session on Dec. 21 over the state’s much-criticized House Bill 2, which opponents say discriminates against transgender people, but did not repeal the controversial “bathroom law.” (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post) Lawmakers in North Carolina announced late Wednesday night that they had reached an agreement to repeal a costly and highly-criticized law that restricts which public restrooms transgender people can use. The compromise was detailed by the state’s top Republican lawmakers, who have long supported the so-called “bathroom bill,” and endorsed by the state’s Democratic governor, who has been a staunch opponent of that measure. But...

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North Carolina’s bathroom bill cost the state at least $3.7 billion, new analysis finds – Washington Post

GOOGLE NEWS The North Carolina legislature met for a special session on Dec. 21 over the state’s much-criticized House Bill 2, which opponents say discriminates against transgender people, but did not repeal the controversial “bathroom law.” (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post) A year after North Carolina enacted a law regulating transgender people’s use of public restrooms, sparking boycotts and costing the state jobs and sports events alike, a new analysis says the legislation’s economic fallout is greater than previously estimated. The “bathroom bill” could cost the state at least $3.7 billion by 2028, according to an Associated Press assessment that tallied the...

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White man traveled to New York to kill black men and ‘make a statement,’ police say – Washington Post

GOOGLE NEWS Surveillance footage allegedly shows a man New York City police say is accused of a stabbing attack on a black man. (New York Police Department) A white man from Maryland who told police he traveled to New York to kill black men turned himself in on Wednesday, about 24 hours after he fatally stabbed a man he encountered on the street, officials said. Authorities described the suspected attacker as someone who had long harbored feelings of hatred toward black men before violently acting on them this week. Police said he carried out the attack in a way...

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Jewish groups say they are relieved and heartbroken after arrest in JCC threats – Washington Post

GOOGLE NEWS People who evacuated because of a bomb threat return to the David Posnack Jewish Community Center and David Posnack Jewish Day School, on Feb. 27, in Davie, Fla. Jewish groups said they were relieved — and upset — about the news that authorities arrested an Israeli man for making threats like this one. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) American Jewish groups said they were simultaneously relieved and anguished at the news Thursday that authorities had arrested a young Israeli man for making threats to Jewish schools and facilities in recent months. While the groups — some of which received...

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Trump calls Chicago violence ‘very easily fixable’ and blames it on political correctness – Washington Post

In his first interview at the White House on Jan. 25, President Trump discussed his past issues with the media, his executive actions this week and debunked claims of voter fraud and inaugural crowd size with ABC’s David Muir. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post) President Trump again decried the levels of bloodshed in Chicago during a televised interview this week, saying that the problem could be easily solved without elaborating on what he meant. Trump, in his first major television interview since moving into the White House, said that police and city officials were “not doing the job” and suggested the problem was that they were “being overly political correct.” Trump thrust himself back into the discussion of Chicago’s violence — which has spiked recently, as homicides last year reached a two-decade high — with a tweet Tuesday night threatening to “send in the Feds” if city officials were unable to stem the killings. This tweet was his second in a matter of weeks suggesting federal intervention in Chicago, but Trump did not elaborate on what he meant. His press secretary said Trump was referring to providing resources. There are already considerable federal resources on the ground in Chicago, the country’s third-largest city. [Trump says he may send ‘the feds’ to Chicago. Federal agents are already there.] When asked about this during a wide-ranging interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Trump compared Chicago to...

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Executions and death sentences plummeted this year as capital punishment declined nationwide – Washington Post

The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. (Associated Press) A year that began with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the death penalty in one of the most active capital punishment states ended with the country reaching modern lows in executions and death sentences, the most glaring signs yet about how the practice has dwindled in America today. Still, even as capital punishment has declined in both sentencing and practice, there were also signs this year of its persistence from lawmakers, judges and the public, reminders that the death penalty is far from fading away. The United States saw 20 executions this year, the fewest nationwide in 25 years. As noted here last week, this number has dropped from the modern peak of 98 executions in 1999, coming as states have struggled to obtain lethal injection drugs and halted executions in the face of court rulings. But that tells only part of the story. There will be a total of 30 new death sentences this year, the lowest number in the modern era, according to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington. That is the fewest new death sentences in a single year since 1972, when the U.S. Supreme Court effectively halted capital punishment by striking down sentencing statutes. (The justices reinstated the death penalty four years later.) To put that...

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Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended for defiance over same-sex marriage – Washington Post

Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, in April. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP) Alabama’s top judge was suspended from the bench and removed from office without pay for the remainder of his term, the state’s Court of the Judiciary said Friday. This is the second time Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has been effectively pulled from office, following his ouster in 2003 over his refusal to obey judicial rulings ordering him to remove a Ten Commandments statue from the Alabama Judicial Building. A complaint was filed by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission charging Moore with violating judicial ethics in issuing an order in January stating that probate judges in the state “have a ministerial duty not to issue” marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a 50-page judgment Friday, two days after Moore appeared for a hearing in the case, Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary found him guilty of failing to comply with the law, uphold the integrity of the court and “perform the duties of his office impartially.” [A guide to Roy Moore, Alabama’s top judge] A group representing Moore in this case decried the court’s decision as “an unbelievable violation of the law” for suspending the justice through the end of his current term in 2019, noting that he will be unable to seek reelection at that time due to state age restrictions. “To suspend Chief...

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