Anti-Abortion Extremist Eric Rudolph Could Face Death Penalty if Convicted
US District Court Judge C Lynwood Smith ruled that anti-abortion extremist Eric Robert Rudolph could be tried under a federal arson law, which would allow him to face the death penalty if convicted. According to the Associated Press, the defense attorneys pushed for Rudolph to be tried under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act — which prohibits not only violence against abortion providers, clinic staff, patients, and volunteers, but also threats of violence — and only carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Rudolph is facing charges of the 1998 bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama women’s health clinic, which killed an off-duty police officer and severely maimed a nurse. Smith also recently set back the date for preliminary jury selection, from March 23 to April 6, the Associated Press reports. This could also delay opening arguments, which are set for the end of May. Rudolph is currently being held in solitary confinement in the Jefferson County jail in Alabama.
Rudolph is also accused of bombing an Atlanta-area abortion clinic in 1997, a lesbian and gay nightclub in Atlanta, and the Atlanta Olympic Park in 1996, which killed one person and injured 111 others. Rudolph was captured last May in North Carolina after eluding authorities for five years. He was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list in 1998 after the Birmingham clinic bombing.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defundÂ Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).Â Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell asÂ out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of twoÂ heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .