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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…

The US Is Set to Execute Three People in a Single Day. One Has Terminal Cancer.

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After its 1996 high, when 315 people were executed in the United States, the death penalty has been steadily on the decline. Just 23 people were executed last year in 8 states—the second fewest executions in the last 25 years. And while 31 states have the death penalty on the books, only a handful actually carries them out. 
There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that capital punishment has been rapidly falling out of favor with prosecutors—last year also had the second fewest new death sentences since 1976. So it’s remarkable that this month, three people are scheduled to die in a single day.

The last time this happened in the US was April 28, 1999, when Texas, Missouri, and Virginia each put a man to death. But barring any intervention from the courts, February 22 could tie that record with executions scheduled in Florida, Alabama, and Texas.
The first person scheduled to die is Florida inmate, Eric Branch, whose execution is set to begin at 6:00 pm. He’s been on de…

Iraq: German schoolgirl, 17, turned jihadi bride escapes death penalty and is jailed for six years

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GERMAN Jihadi bride Linda Wenzel has been jailed for six years in Baghdad for her role as an Islamic enforcer with terror group ISIS. Wenzel, 17, who last year sobbed on TV “I have ruined my life,” could have faced the death penalty.
German media reported that a German embassy representative in Iraq was in court yesterday to witness her sentencing.
She received five years for joining IS and one year for entering Iraq illegally.
Wenzel was found in the rubble of IS stronghold Mosul back in the summer of 2017.
Charges were laid against her and three other German women captured with her.
Schoolgirl Wenzel fled to Turkey then into Syria last year from her hometown of Pulsnitz in eastern Germany after being groomed online by a Chechen IS fighter who she married.
He was killed in the savage fighting for Mosul while she was employed by the terror group enforcing the strict Islamic dress code on women in the city.
She burst into tears after her capture and said she just wanted to come home.

Myanmar: Death sought for child rapists

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More than a thousand residents of Madaya township in Mandalay joined a protest march on February 17 demanding the death penalty for child rape.
The protest followed the rape and murder of a 2-1/2-year-old child last week in Madaya in which a man has been charged.
The protesters, numbering some 1500, marched from Dingar Creek at the town entrance to Mogoke road and onto a public forum shouting slogans, demanding a mandatory death penalty for child rapists. At the same time they sought to bring attention to the rising incidence of rape in the country.  
“We are calling for more stringent penalties for criminals who rape children to prevent such cases from recurring. Our main objective is to eradicate child rape and punish offenders with the death penalty,” one protest leader, Daw Myint Myint Zaw, said.
The protesters signed a petition that they would submit to parliament.
“We as parents are shocked and frightened every time we hear such news, even if the victim is somebody else’s child…

Japan: Death penalty sought for Peruvian man charged with string of six slayings in Saitama

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SAITAMA – Prosecutors on Monday demanded the death penalty for a 32-year-old Peruvian man accused of killing six people, including two girls, after breaking into their suburban homes north of Tokyo in 2015.
Lawyers defending Vayron Jonathan Nakada Ludena at the Saitama District Court argue he is not mentally fit to stand trial.
Nakada Ludena broke into three homes in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, in September 2015 to steal money and valuable items and killed the occupants, according to the indictment.
The victims were Minoru Tasaki, 55, his wife, Misae, 53, Kazuyo Shiraishi, 84, and 41-year-old Miwako Kato and her two daughters, 10-year-old Misaki and 7-year-old Haruka.
Nakada Ludena was arrested on Oct. 8 the same year in connection with the deaths of the Tasakis, after being hospitalized following his plunge from a second-floor window at Kato’s home on Sept. 16. Police subsequently served him with further arrest warrants related to the other victims.
Prosecutors said his actions we…

Father who forgave son for family's murder asks Texas to spare his life

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AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man who survived a deadly domestic attack hatched by his son is pushing the state to grant clemency to the condemned man, although it has never spared a death row inmate solely at the formal request of the victim’s family.
Thomas “Bart” Whitaker is set to be put to death by lethal injection on Feb. 22 for masterminding a 2003 plot near Houston that left his mother Tricia, 51, and brother Keith, 19, dead and his father Kent with a bullet wound near his heart.
In the 31 states with capital punishment, district attorneys make the decision whether to seek death, balancing the punishment that they consider best serves society with the wishes of the victim’s family. In this case, the local Texas prosecutors pursued death and jurors decided Bart Whitaker, 38, deserved to be executed.
His father, a 69-year-old devout Christian and retired executive, says if that penalty is implemented, it will only intensify his pain.
“I am going to be thrown into a deeper g…

Gambia announces ‘moratorium’ on death penalty

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Gambian President Adama Barrow announced on Sunday a suspension of the death penalty in his country, in a break from the former regime of the dictator Yahya Jammeh.
Barrow, a onetime security guard in London who was elected president in December 2016, signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year.
“I will use this opportunity to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the Gambia, as a first step towards abolition,” Barrow said in a speech marking the 53rd anniversary of independence from Britain.
Jammeh ruled Gambia, a small English-speaking country surrounded by Senegal and a narrow Atlantic coastline, with an iron fist for 22 years.
The death penalty was last used under Jammeh in 2012, when nine soldiers were executed by firing squad.
Jammeh later threatened to expand a list of capital crimes in response to what he said was a rising crime rate.
Barrow said Sunday: “We have won the war against dictatorship, which is the easy part. Maintaining th…

Botswana: Joseph Poni Tselayarona executed

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Press Release: The Botswana Prison Service wishes to inform the public that the execution of the death penalty passed on Joseph Poni Tselayarona, 28 years, of Magokotswane ward in Molepolole, was carried out today, Saturday February 17, 2018 at Gaborone Central Prison in the early morning hours.
This follows a death sentence which was imposed on him by the Gaborone High Court on the March 10, 2017 for the offence of murder. 
The High Court convicted Tselayarona for the murder of his girlfriend, Ngwanyanaotsile Keikanne and her three-year-old son, Miguel Keikanne in 2010 at Molepolole.
He was sentenced 20 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend and handed a death penalty for the murder of the son. 
He later appealed the judgment but was dismissed on the November 23, 2017 by the Court of Appeal.
Wamorena Ramolefhe, Assistant Commissioner of Prisons
Source:Mmegi Online, February 17, 2018


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Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

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The 17 counts of premeditated murder against Nikolas Cruz are the type of case “the death penalty was designed for,” according to the Florida prosecutor in charge of trying the confessed school shooter.
But Michael Satz, the longtime Broward state attorney, said his office has not yet decided what punishment to seek against Cruz.
“Our office will announce our formal position at the appropriate time,” Satz said in a statement released Saturday morning.
On Friday, Cruz’s legal team said he would not contest guilt if prosecutors agreed not to ask for the death penalty.
“He committed this crime. Everybody saw it. Everybody knows it. He’s admitted it,” said Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein. “The crime is horrific and beyond words. This is going to come down to one issue — does he live, or does he die?”
The charges against Cruz, stemming from Wednesday’s deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, could result in a sentence of life in prison or exe…