A jury yesterday found Theodore Wafer, the Michigan man who shot and killed Renisha McBride, guilty of murder. The ruling disputed his claim that the killing was an act of self-defense justified under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Wafer, a 55-year-old white man, was found guilty of one count of felony firearm, homicide, and the second-degree murder of McBride, a 19-year-old black woman. A 12-person jury deliberated over the decision for nearly ten hours over two days. Wafer will appear in court for sentencing Aug 25.
"As much as I think there was a sigh of relief when this verdict was rendered, there was also this sense that this was an exceptional case, and that this really could've gone another way," Dr. Treva Lindsey, Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University, said on Huffington Post Live. "Due to the sexist and racist logic embedded in our American injustice system [that] so often that leaves bodies like Renisha even a perpetrator in death. We still refer to it as the Renisha McBride trial as opposed to the Theodore Wafer trial. She's not even given the adequate status of a victim in this instance."
"The thing that I felt yesterday, in addition to a level of relief, still, to me, the Internet was really, really, really silent," said Dr. Brittney Cooper, Assistant Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at Rutgers Universities, said in the same Huffington Post Live segment. "When you compare the level of conversation... Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner, I don't feel like we got the level of catharsis for having gotten a conviction with Renisha."
Media Resources: Detroit Free Press 8/7/14; HuffPost Live 8/8/14; Feminist Newswire 11/15/13; WDIV-TV 11/7/13; Feminist Newswire 7/15/13; Feminist Newswire 7/29/14
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .