For The Second Time US Supreme Court Reverses Death Sentence Decision For

first_imgTDCJ/Abby LivingstonThe U.S. Supreme Court first ruled in the death penalty case of Bobby Moore in March 2017.The U.S. Supreme Court has for the second time struck down the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ way of determining if a death row inmate is intellectually disabled and eligible for execution.The high court made that determination Tuesday in the case of Bobby Moore, who the court decided is intellectually disabled.Moore’s case highlights the complexities surrounding intellectual disability and the death penalty. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that those with intellectual disabilities can’t be executed, and after reviewing Moore’s case in 2016, tossed out the way the Texas court determines the disability in 2017. The Texas court previously relied on decades-old medical standards and a controversial set of factors created by judges to make the determination, including how well the inmate could lie.Following that ruling, the prosecutor sided with Moore and said that he is intellectually disabled, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals still disagreed, claiming last June that he was eligible for execution under current medical standards as well. Now, the high court has stepped in again, and this time, the majority of justices made clear that Moore has shown he is disabled and therefore ineligible for execution. The court’s opinion knocked the Texas Court for relying on the same methods it had ruled against in the 2017 opinion, like focusing on Moore’s strengths instead of his weaknesses, especially strengths gained in a controlled prison environment.The justices also said that despite the Texas court saying it had eliminated its controversial set of factors, which the high court said were problematic for advancing stereotypes, “it seems to have used many of those factors in reaching its conclusion.”“To be sure, the court of appeals opinion is not identical to the opinion we considered in Moore,” the justices wrote. “There are sentences here and there suggesting other modes of analysis consistent with what we said. But there are also sentences here and there suggesting reliance upon what we earlier called ‘lay stereotypes of the intellectually disabled.’”Moore, 59, was sentenced to death more than 38 years ago after he fatally shot a 73-year-old clerk during a Houston robbery in 1980. In 2014, a Texas court determined under current medical standards that Moore was intellectually disabled — with evidence including low IQ scores and his inability to tell time or days of the week as a teenager.But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overruled that decision, saying the lower court failed to use its test in making the determination. The Supreme Court invalidated that method upon review.“By rejecting the habeas court’s application of medical guidance and clinging to the standard it laid out … the CCA failed adequately to inform itself of the ‘medical community’s diagnostic framework’,” wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 5-3 opinion in 2017.In an unusual step, the prosecutor, Democratic Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, filed a brief to the Texas court after that ruling agreeing with Moore — stating that he was intellectually disabled and should not be executed. In a surprise June opinion, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to use current medical standards as a method to determine if a death row inmate had an intellectual disability, but said that Moore still did not qualify.Both Moore and Ogg took the matter up with the justices in Washington, D.C. — marking a rare occurrence of the state and inmate arguing for the same thing. They argued that the Texas court claimed to take up medical standards but largely did the same thing that was slammed by the Supreme Court earlier. They asked the Supreme Court to reverse the Texas court’s decision without holding a hearing, or, if the justices didn’t agree to that, at least grant a second review with oral arguments. The justices took the more drastic step.Moore’s case will now go back to the Court of Criminal Appeals for a new decision, but with the high court saying Moore has shown he is intellectually disabled, he would be ineligible for execution.A difference in this ruling was a concurrence from Chief Justice John Roberts. In 2017, he dissented against the court’s reversal of the Texas court decision, claiming his colleagues’ order on how states should determine intellectual disability “lacked clarity.” On Tuesday, he said that problem still exists, but it’s “easy to see” the Court of Criminal Appeals missed the mark.“The court repeated the same errors that this Court previously condemned,” he wrote.Among the most conservative justices, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the majority opinion, saying, like Roberts, that the lack of clarity in how states should rule is the fault of the Supreme Court. They also criticized the majority for its “foray into factfinding” in making a decision on Moore’s disability, as opposed to its role of judicial review.The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was left on its own in making these decisions. The Texas judges have begged the state Legislature for nearly two decades to come up with a process for determining whether death penalty defendants are intellectually disabled. This year, the few lawmakers who repeatedly file bills on the topic, have hoped that Moore’s case can make their legislation pass.Elsa Alcala, who until January was a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals and dissented against her colleagues in both of the Moore decisions, said Tuesday’s ruling by the high court brought tears to her eyes.“It feels like the weight of the world has lifted for a moment in time,” she said.This article was originally published in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.  Sharelast_img read more

DC Meters Vandalized Following Price Increase

first_imgFollowing the announcement that D.C. parking meters would increase to $2.30 per hour, several machines were found broken or vandalized. (Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)Several parking meters throughout Southwest D.C. were knocked from their pedestals with the money removed which seems to allegedly be a response to the D.C. Department of Transportation’s June 1 fee increase similar to the city’s meters in the 1990s.While some residents voiced disdain over what they perceived as predatory increases in parking and speeding fees, others are concerned that the city is witnessing the beginning of public service-related acts of destruction – reminiscent of those in the 1990s that cost the city roughly $500,000 a month in lost revenue.The June 1 change in metered parking fees across the city brought the cost to $2.30 an hour – up $.30 from $2 in high demand zones such as Adams Morgan, the National Mall, Georgetown Historic District, the U Street NW Corridor, and the Downtown Central Business District. The parking meters in areas with less demand were also increased from $.75 to $2.30.The increase comes as more drivers take to the road in lieu of Metrorail closures and single-tracking, raising the ire of residents like Vincent Wright, who said with mainly one and two-hour parking limits, the meter system is too restrictive.“The number of spaces has decreased due to new vendor and corporate licensing, so when you want to visit downtown D.C. and have night out, you are forced on a two-hour meter, to expect to have to move in the middle of dinner or a film, and spend upwards of $20 in parking fees – if you find a space,” Wright said.  “The cost is one thing, but the inconvenience is another.Vandalism is no solution, but I can understand that level of frustration.”In the mid-1990s, the District had more than 800 parking meters vandalized, their heads smashed off with baseball bats or sledgehammers, according to police reports. By March 1997, the total was 3,000 meters, out of the city’s 16,000 – which D.C. officials estimated caused the city to lose $500,000 a month in revenue.DDOT said on its website that despite the $2.30 per hour rate, other major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia have meter rates that are at least $3 an hour or more.  The rate increase should bring more than $2 million into the city’s coffers, which is slated to help with Metro’s operating budget.At press time, DDOT communications specialist Michelle Phipps-Evans said the office had not been made aware of the vandalism and would investigate the damaged machines.last_img read more

Bowser Names Indianapolis Superintendent as DCPS Chancellor Council Will Not Confirm Pick

first_imgBy Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, mgreen@afro.comAfter nine months of Dr. Amanda Alexander serving as the Interim Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Indianapolis Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee as her choice to permanently fill the position.A teacher and a son of educators, Ferebee has led Indianapolis schools since 2013, and at the Mayor’s appointment, is now prepping to take the helm in the nation’s capital.District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser named Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee as chancellor for District of Columbia Public Schools. (Courtesy Photo)“Dr. Ferebee is a strong educator and leader with a wide breadth of experience as a teacher, an administrator and a superintendent,” Bowser wrote in a statement.Because of his wealth of experience in education, Bowser said Ferebee has the tools to lead a school system in a diverse and growing city like the District.“He understands the complexities of leading a large urban school district in a growing city,the mayor wrote.  “He knows there’s no-one-size-fits-all solution to meeting the needs of our young people. And he has experience building partnerships that ensure more students have a path toward success.Despite the mayor’s confidence in Ferebee, District of Columbia Council member David Grosso (I-At –large), who serves as chair for the Committee on Education, expressed reticence in naming the Indianapolis superintendent, without thorough vetting.“In Mr. Ferebee, the mayor has chosen to nominate an individual from outside the District of Columbia. The vetting of such a candidate should not be taken lightly or hastily,” Grosso wrote in a statement.Prior to even acknowledging Ferebee’s appointment by the Mayor, Grosso, in his statement, emphasized the interim chancellor’s career commitment to DCPS.“After the resignation of the last chancellor, and as she has done throughout her entire career with DCPS, she answered the call to service for our students. Dr. Alexander has a storied career at DCPS, first as an elementary teacher, then principal, instructional superintendent, chief of elementary schools, and now interim chancellor. This dedication to our schools deserves our highest appreciation. I want to express my profound gratitude for her dedication and service,” Grosso said about Alexander.With Ferebee’s career roots elsewhere and without an in-depth vetting process by the Committee on Education and Council, Grosso is delaying the Indianapolis superintendent’s confirmation hearing at the Wilson building until the 2019.“Due to the late nature of this nomination in the legislative process, the Committee on Education will not schedule public engagement sessions this month and has no plans to move it through the Council before the end of this Council Period,” wrote Grosso.Before the hearing, the Committee on Education chair said there will be two public engagement sessions- one in Ward 1 and another in Ward 7.Even with Grosso’s push for due process, the mayor controls the school system and is already welcoming Ferebee to the team, per her statement.  In addition, Bowser, who was just elected for a new term, is also touting the benefits of mayoral controlled school system.“One of the major benefits of a system of mayoral control with council oversight is that we are better positioned to use every resource available to support our students. By working across agencies, we can set high expectations in the classroom while also ensuring that when our students and families need support outside of the classroom, we are acting quickly as a District to provide it,” she wrote.As Ferebee awaits confirmation, Grosso recommended he spend time in the community among the people he will likely be serving.“I encourage Mr. Ferebee to seize this time as an opportunity to meet with DCPS students, family, teachers and staff in preparation for his confirmation process.”last_img read more

Bengal will not observe Surgical Strike Day Minister

first_imgKolkata: The UGC direction to universities to mark September 29 as “Surgical Strike Day” is a part of the BJP’s “political agenda” and educational institutes in West Bengal will not observe the day, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said Friday. Chatterjee criticised the BJP-led central government for trying to “malign and politicise” the Army. The BJP said the TMC government has made it a practice to oppose each and every decision of the central government. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life On September 29 in 2016, the Indian Army carried out “surgical strikes” on seven terrorist launchpads across the LoC as a response to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month. The Indian Army had said its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists waiting there to cross onto the Indian territory. “This is an agenda of the BJP and it is trying to push this agenda by using the UGC ahead of elections. It is a matter of shame that they are using the UGC to achieve their political agenda. We won’t abide by the directions of UGC,” Chatterjee said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The University Grants Commission yesterday directed varsities and higher educational institutions across the country to observe September 29 as “Surgical Strike Day”. Talk sessions by ex-servicemen about sacrifices by the armed forces, special parades by NCC and visit to exhibitions are among the prescribed events by the University Grants Commission for the celebration. Chatterjee said, “We would have understood it had they asked us to observe the day in the name of sacrifices made by our soldiers. We have full respect for our soldiers and their sacrifices.” “The Indian Army has always been kept above politics and controversies. But now we are seeing that the BJP is trying to malign and politicise the Indian Army. This is not right and we won’t support it,” he said. Reacting to the allegations, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said the TMC government has made it a practice to oppose each and every decision of the Centre. “Earlier also, we had seen Bengal government opposing directions by the UGC. This is not new,” he said.last_img read more

Govt public sector websites to be accessible to visually challenged persons

first_imgKolkata: The state Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) department, in association with the state Social Welfare department will soon undertake a drive to make government and public sector websites accessible to visually challenged persons.A discussion for making government websites visually impaired friendly was held on Friday, in presence of senior officials of both the departments. The IT department has plans to make websites read itself out, so that it can be of help to somebody who is too tired to have a look at the screen of the computer. He/she can simply close the eyes and listen. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”Read Aloud extensions on internet browsers like Google Chrome can be an option as well. These ‘Text-to-Speech’ extensions are often free and offer themselves to customisation (slow or fast reading speeds),” a senior official of IT&E department said, adding that talks have already been held with Webel on how to proceed with the plans. The things that have come up during the discussion include websites with images which may have an alternative text-based information so that the “Read Aloud” feature can explain the matter to the user. The contrast ratio between background and foreground colour should be large and the contents should be navigable by arrow keys. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We are also ready assist any private company on making their websites friendly for the visually impaired,” the official added. It may be mentioned that all state governments across the country have been pushing for making websites user friendly for disabled people. The Bombay High Court has recently directed the Maharashtra government to ensure that all its websites are user-friendly for disabled people. The direction was passed on the basis of a Public Interest Litigation filed by city-based NGO Disability Rights Initiative pleading for such an order.last_img read more

Emergency services dealing with accident near StokeonTrent pub

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailEmergency services are dealing with a two-vehicle accident near a Stoke-on-Trent pub this evening. The collision is believed to have taken place on Leek Road near the Sneyd Arms pub in Abbey Hulton at around 11.20pm tonight (Friday February 22). An eyewitness reports police, paramedics and the fire service are at the scene. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they remained in attendance. A spokeswoman said:  “We were called at 11.20pm to a two-vehicle collision.  No one was trapped.” We will bring you an update on this story when one becomes available. Read MorePolice release post-mortem result after woman’s body found at city house Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us   @SOTLive  or message us on   our Facebook page  . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at   StokeonTrentLive  .last_img read more