Missouri Governor Mike Parson has the power to stop the execution of Amber McLaughlin, a 49-year-old transgender woman who is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday. McLaughlin was convicted of killing a former girlfriend in 2003, and if her execution goes ahead as planned, she will be the first transgender woman to be executed in the United States. There is a possibility for clemency, but it remains to be seen if Governor Parson will intervene.
A clemency petition has been filed on behalf of Amber McLaughlin, seeking to halt her execution due to several mitigating factors that were not presented at her trial. McLaughlin’s attorney, Larry Komp, has stated that there are no pending court appeals. The clemency request highlights McLaughlin’s history of trauma and mental health issues, including abuse by a foster parent and her adoptive father, as well as ongoing struggles with depression and multiple suicide attempts. These factors, along with others, are being brought forward in the hope that Governor Parson will grant clemency and spare McLaughlin’s life.
If her execution is carried out as scheduled, Amber McLaughlin will be the first transgender inmate to be executed in the United States. According to the anti-death penalty group Death Penalty Information Center, there is no known precedent for such a case. A friend who is currently incarcerated with McLaughlin has observed her personality flourishing during her gender transition. Prior to transitioning, McLaughlin was in a relationship with Beverly Guenther, who obtained a restraining order due to McLaughlin’s erratic behavior at her place of work in suburban St. Louis. Court records indicate that McLaughlin would often show up at Guenther’s office and hide inside the building, and police officers were sometimes needed to escort Guenther to her car after work.
On the night of November 20, 2003, neighbors of Beverly Guenther called the police when she failed to return home. Upon arriving at her office building, police discovered a broken knife handle near her car and a trail of blood. The following day, McLaughlin led authorities to a location near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, where Guenther’s body had been disposed of.
In 2006, McLaughlin was convicted of first-degree murder and received a death sentence after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the punishment. In 2016, a court ordered a new sentencing hearing, but in 2021, a federal appeals court panel reinstated the original death penalty decision.
Jessica Hicklin, a 43-year-old who was released from prison in January 2022 after serving 26 years for a drug-related killing in western Missouri in 1995, knew Amber McLaughlin before she transitioned. Hicklin was 16 at the time of the crime, and her release was granted due to her young age at the time of the offense.
Hicklin, who began transitioning while in prison, challenged the Missouri Department of Corrections’ policy prohibiting hormone therapy for inmates who had not received it prior to incarceration through a lawsuit in 2016. The suit was successful in 2018, and Hicklin became a mentor to other transgender inmates, including McLaughlin.
Missouri has a history of executing prisoners, with Bonnie B. Heady being the only woman to be put to death in the state. She was executed on December 18, 1953 for the kidnapping and murder of a 6-year-old boy. Heady was executed alongside her accomplice, Carl Austin Hall, in the gas chamber. In 2022, a total of 18 people were executed in the United States, with two of those occurring in Missouri. Kevin Johnson was executed in November for the murder of a police officer in Kirkwood, and Carman Deck was put to death in May for killing James and Zelma. Carman Deck was executed in May for killing James and Zelma Long during a home invasion in De Soto.
Donald Trump Reinstated to Facebook, Instagram after 2-year Ban
Facebook parent company, Meta, has decided to lift the two-year suspension of former President Donald Trump’s personal account. The suspension was put in place following the January 6 insurrection. In a blog post, the company stated that they are implementing new measures to prevent future violations of their rules by political candidates or world leaders. The company believes that the public should have access to the statements made by politicians, whether they are positive or negative, so that they can make informed decisions. The new guardrails will be put in place to ensure that there are no repeat offenders. The company also emphasised that they will take action against any individual who violates their rules, regardless of their status or position. The decision to lift the suspension has been met with mixed reactions, with some praising the move as a necessary step towards free speech while others criticise it as a potential threat to public safety.
According to Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs for Meta, the public has the right to know what their politicians are saying, whether it is positive or negative. This is important because it allows citizens to make informed choices when they vote.
Clegg stated that the public should be aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to the statements made by politicians. This way, they can make informed decisions at the ballot box. Clegg believes that this is essential for a healthy democracy and that it is important for the public to have access to the statements made by politicians, regardless of whether they agree with them or not. He also emphasized that the company will put in place new guardrails to ensure that there are no repeat offenders who violate its rules, even if they are political candidates or world leaders. Clegg believes that this is necessary to keep the public informed and to ensure that democracy works as it should.
Facebook’s decision to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s personal account has significant implications for his potential third run for the White House. Not only does it allow him to communicate directly with his 34 million followers – a significantly larger audience than the 4.8 million who currently follow him on his own site, Truth Social – but it also allows him to resume direct fundraising. Facebook was a crucial source of fundraising revenue for Trump’s campaigns, which spent millions of dollars on the company’s ads in 2016 and 2020.
During the suspension, his supporters were able to raise money for him, but they couldn’t run ads directly from him or in his voice. Trump has criticized Facebook’s decision to suspend his account and praised Truth Social, stating that this should never happen to a sitting President or anyone else who is not deserving of retribution. Other social media companies, including Snapchat, where he remains suspended, also removed him from their platforms following the insurrection.
7 Dead in Half Moon Bay Mass Shooting
The small beach-side community of Half Moon Bay in California has been left reeling after a tragic event that saw at least seven individuals lose their lives in a pair of related shootings. This act of violence comes just two days after another mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of 11 people in Monterey Park. The perpetrator of these shootings is said to be a 67-year-old resident of Half Moon Bay.
According to reports, the individual is accused of opening fire at two rural locations that were located around a mile apart from each other. In the process, some of the victims were shot in front of children who lived nearby and had just been released from school.
The San Mateo County Sheriff, Christina Corpus, has expressed her shock and sorrow at the incident. She stated that “These types of shootings are devastating and unfortunately, all too common.” For children to witness this is unspeakable.” The sheriff’s department and local authorities are now investigating the matter, and the perpetrator is being held in custody.
The community is in shock as they try to come to terms with the tragic event that has occurred. People are struggling to understand how something like this could happen in their small town, and many are questioning what could have been done to prevent it. The families of the victims are in the thoughts and prayers of the entire community as they try to come to terms with their loss.
This tragic event serves as yet another reminder of the need for stricter gun laws and a more robust mental health support system in the United States. It is a call to action for the government and the public to come together and take steps to prevent such senseless acts of violence from happening again in the future. The shooter, thought to be an employee at a local farm or nursery, was apprehended by authorities shortly after the incident. The victims are also believed to have been workers at nearby farms, according to officials.
Deputies of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office discovered four victims who were shot to death in the 12700 block of San Mateo Road, an unincorporated area of the county, around 2:30 p.m. A fifth victim was also located and rushed to Stanford Medical Center with critical injuries, as per the statement issued by the Sheriff’s office. A short while later, deputies found three more victims who had died due to apparent gunshot wounds, about a mile away, in the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway.
According to Sheriff Corpus, the suspect is thought to have traveled between the two locations, shooting the unidentified victims at each site. The reason behind the shootings is yet to be determined, as per the statement given by the sheriff’s officials. The shooting suspect, Chunli Zhao, was located sitting in his car at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office substation in Half Moon Bay at around 4:40 p.m. Video footage from ABC 7 shows deputies apprehending a man, who was wearing a white cap, vest, and red long-sleeve shirt in the parking lot.
Bengaluru will Witness 187 Tata e-Buses in Four Months
The Grand Challenge plan of Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL), a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Union power ministry, aims to bring about a significant shift towards electric transportation in India. As part of this plan, 1,500 non-AC electric buses were allocated to the city of Bengaluru on a gross cost contract, also known as a lease model. CESL invited tenders for the operation and maintenance of these buses, and Tata Motors submitted a quote of Rs 41 per kilometer (including the cost of the driver) for a period of 12 years.
However, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has shown interest in inducting only 921 of these e-buses so far. Of these, 187 will be inducted in the next four months, with the remainder to be added by 2025. The BMTC is setting up charging stations at Shantinagar, KR Puram, and Hoskote depots to support these buses.
The adoption of electric buses in Bengaluru represents a significant step towards the goal of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the city. Electric buses produce zero emissions and are significantly quieter than their diesel counterparts, making them a more environmentally friendly and less disruptive mode of transportation. In addition, the cost of operating electric buses is generally lower than that of diesel buses, as electricity is generally cheaper than diesel fuel.
However, the transition to electric buses is not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is the need to set up infrastructure to support these vehicles, including charging stations and maintenance facilities. In addition, there is a need to address issues related to the availability and reliability of electric bus batteries, as well as the potential for battery waste.
Another challenge is the upfront cost of purchasing electric buses, which is generally higher than that of diesel buses. However, this cost is offset by the lower operating costs and reduced maintenance requirements of electric buses. In addition, various government incentives are available to encourage the adoption of electric buses, including subsidies and tax credits.
Despite these challenges, the adoption of electric buses in Bengaluru holds great potential for improving the quality of life in the city and reducing its environmental impact. The success of this project could serve as a model for other cities in India and around the world looking to transition to electric transportation.
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