Should It Be Easier to Put Mass Shooters to Death? Trump’s Justice Department Thinks So

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Expedited death penalty for mass shooters? The Trump administration is apparently considering it. A proposal circulating in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and supported by Vice President Mike Pence would reportedly speed up the capital punishment process for convicted killers who are responsible for multiple deaths.

The DOJ announced in July that it would bring back the death penalty for federal crimes.

On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden slammed the proposal as “what you do when you can’t get something done that’s rational.”

The new proposal will “likely be part of a larger gun control initiative that aims to address a wave of deadly shootings, including a weekend rampage in West Texas, that left at least seven people dead and 22 people injured,” according to The Hill. “Pence has been directly involved in conversations with Attorney General William Barr about the death penalty initiative,” notes Bloomberg.

Little details about the expedited death penalty plan are known.

In August, Trump fixated on the mental health of mass shooters and suggested enacting “red flag” laws, which make it easier to take away the arms-owning rights of people deemed to be a danger. (For an analysis of the problems with such policies, see Reason‘s Jacob Sullum.)

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke have been floating pie-in-the-sky gun buyback proposals.


Freelance writers in California are screwed. California’s proposed change regarding independent contractors is being heralded as a step against the “gig economy” and companies like Uber and Lyft—but it would go so far beyond that. One small example:


Credit cards and the surveillance state. Electronic financial transactions paved the way for the perfect surveillance network, writes Andrea Castillo:

It’s genius, really. No spies, clunky camera and microphone equipment, or random checkpoints are needed. All you have to do to get a detailed surveillance picture of a population is to hand them a payment card and send them on their way.

It’s not that financial institutions set out to build a super snooper for Uncle Sam. It’s just that the infrastructure needed to operate a third party-provided payment system is coincidentally the same architecture that allows for constant spying. And all we see is convenience!


And then there were three. The top tier of Democratic presidential candidates is down to just Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. From Politico:

For more than a year, Democrats had approached their nominating contest with a widely-shared belief that — like Republicans in the earliest stages of their primary four years ago — they, too, might take turns rising and falling in an expansive field. That expectation sustained the campaigns of more than two dozen contenders this year.

But in recent weeks, the leading band of candidates has contracted unexpectedly early. … Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg remain at the periphery, while lower-polling candidates have largely failed to muster sustained, upward movement in fundraising or polling.

According to interviews with about two dozen Democratic operatives and consultants, there is little reason to expect any of them will.

Read the whole thing here. And a chaser: “Why Kamala Harris Hasn’t Caught Fire in the Democratic 2020 Race.” 

  • The U.S. is probably complicit in war crimes in Yemen, says the U.N.
  • Hurricane Dorian is hanging out over the Bahamas but still expected to reach Florida sometime tomorrow.
  • Despite Donald Trump’s payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal having already been the subject of so much legal and public scrutiny, congressional Democrats are launching their own probe into the matter.
  • A growing underground network is helping women in states with restrictive abortion laws travel out of state to terminate their pregnancies.
  • Another person has been denied entry to the U.S. despite having a visa because of things someone else posted to social media.
  • Horrible and yet sadly unsurprising:

(More here.)

  • “People who lived through the Great Recession are understandably nervous about the ‘r’ word. But there’s good reason to believe that when the next recession hits (and it will) the pain won’t be nearly as great as what people experienced in 2008,” suggests Fortune.
  • Leave Camille Paglia alone!
  • Anti-Nazi documentaries apparently violate YouTube’s hate speech policy.

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