WJI daily reads for Oct. 29, 2021
Courthouse News: Law protecting motorists who hit protesters likely violates First Amendment, judge rules.
U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron — an appointee of President George H.W. Bush — ruled that provisions against street obstructions in House Bill 1674 likely violate free speech rights under the First Amendment and are likely unconstitutionally vague.
HB 1674 was signed into law in April by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt and was comfortably passed by the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Legislature in the wake of last summer’s protests against the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. The law protects motorists who “unintentionally” injure or kill rioters as long as they have “a reasonable belief that fleeing was necessary to protect the motor vehicle operator from serious injury or death.” Motorists who “exercise due care” at the time of injury or death are also protected.
AP: Oklahoma executes inmate who died vomiting and convulsing.
John Marion Grant, 60, who was strapped to a gurney inside the execution chamber, began convulsing and vomiting after the first drug, the sedative midazolam, was administered. Several minutes later, two members of the execution team wiped the vomit from his face and neck.
Before the curtain was raised to allow witnesses to see into the execution chamber, Grant could be heard yelling, “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!” He delivered a stream of profanities before the lethal injection started. He was declared unconscious about 15 minutes after the first of three drugs was administered and declared dead about six minutes after that, at 4:21 p.m.
Someone vomiting while being executed is rare, according to observers.
“I’ve never heard of or seen that,” said Robert Dunham, executive director of the nonpartisan Death Penalty Information Center. “That is notable and unusual.”
Wisconsin Examiner: Wisconsin concealed carry bill gets quiet hearing.
WPR: Families in Charleston church shooting case reach $88 million settlement with U.S. Department of Justice.
Survivors and families who lost loved ones in the June 2015 attack filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department, saying the FBI's negligence allowed (Dylann) Roof to buy the gun he used in the attack. At the time, federal law barred Roof from possessing a firearm. The families filed their lawsuit in 2016.
For those killed in the shooting, the settlements range from $6 million to $7.5 million per claim. For the survivors, the settlement brings $5 million per claim, the Justice Department says.
Health Affairs: People reentering communities from prison face greater health problems than the general population.
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