Alty News: SCOTUS Reviews Lethal Injection; A Look at the Assassination of MLK's Mother | Buzz Blog

Friday, February 6, 2015

Alty News: SCOTUS Reviews Lethal Injection; A Look at the Assassination of MLK's Mother

Posted By on February 6, 2015, 9:57 AM

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The Supreme Court will review lethal injection for the first time in seven years.

Top of the Alty World

"Lethal Rejection: Will the Supreme Court’s Lethal Injection Review Kill the Death Penalty?"—ProPublica

Mother Jones takes a look at how U.S. companies stash billions offshore.—Mother Jones

Two activists discuss the challenges of protesting in the digital age.—Rolling Stone

Talking Points Memo reflects on the often overlooked assassination of Martin Luther King Jr's mother for Black History Month.—Talking Points Memo

Top of Alty Utah

Danielle Willard's family has settled with West Valley City for $1.4 million.—Salt Lake City Weekly

A bill to do away with daylight saving time and switch Utah to Central Standard Time stalled on the hill.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Lawmakers are looking to close the achievement gap for Native Americans.—Utah Political Capitol

Lawmakers are considering a historic joint caucus between Republicans in the House and Senate.—Utah Policy


Utah Politico Hub reflects on revenge and the law in light of Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, expressing a desire to make sex trafficking a capital offense—despite the fact that Supreme Court precedent has weighed against rape being crime punishable by execution.

Still, living by what we call the “rule of law”–when those laws are created by a democratic process by elected representatives and that include the checks and balances of splitting the functions of government between executive, legislative, and judiciary functions–is a far superior method than the arbitrary rule of men. It protects innocents from the abuses of the law, of men, and of justice.

Additionally, there is the issue of whether it would work. Assuming that the law would even be constitutional, would raising the penalty for child rape or sexual trafficking to execution by firing squad (another proposal of Ray’s) even deter perps from their deviance, or would it just encourage victims–who are often family members–to keep their pain to themselves out of fear, however misplaced, that their family member could face a firing squad?—Utah Politico Hub

The Long View

The United States family detention camps along the Mexican border are filling more and more with refugees of violent criminal gangs.

Since the economic collapse of 2008, the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico has plunged, while a surge of violence in Central America has brought a wave of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. According to recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, the number of refugees fleeing Central America has doubled in the past year alone — with more than 61,000 “family units” crossing the U.S. border, as well as 51,000 unaccompanied children. For the first time, more people are coming to the United States from those countries than from Mexico, and they are coming not just for opportunity but for survival.

The explosion of violence in Central America is often described in the language of war, cartels, extortion and gangs, but none of these capture the chaos overwhelming the region. Four of the five highest murder rates in the world are in Central American nations. The collapse of these countries is among the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. While criminal organizations like the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha exist as street gangs in the United States, in large parts of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador they are so powerful and pervasive that they have supplanted the government altogether. People who run afoul of these gangs — which routinely demand money on threat of death and sometimes kidnap young boys to serve as soldiers and young girls as sexual slaves — may have no recourse to the law and no better option than to flee.—New York Times Magazine

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