Jon's Feed
Oct 5, 2015

University of Texas debates guns on campus after Oregon shooting

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A law to allow guns in more places at the University of Texas system would increase the danger on campuses and could not prevent mass killings like the one last week in Oregon, faculty and students told a forum on Monday.

But supporters said at the system’s flagship university in Austin the measure will increase campus safety because criminals will have to worry about being stopped by a licensed and trained person with a concealed weapon.

Oct 2, 2015

Oregon sheriff who opposes gun control thrust into spotlight

By Jon Herskovitz and Katie Reilly

(Reuters) – About a month after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin in Oregon posted a video on his Facebook page from conspiracy theorists who said the event might have been a hoax. A few days later, he wrote to Vice President Joe Biden, telling him to stay away from gun control.

Hanlin was thrust into the spotlight on Thursday, when a gunman opened fire at a college classroom in Douglas County, killing nine people and wounding several others before police shot him to death.

Oct 1, 2015

Texas, top state for executions, may go a year without a death penalty conviction

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas may end 2015 without
imposing a sentence of capital punishment, a milestone that
parallels declining public support for capital punishment in a
state that had been sending the most prisoners to the death

So far this year, the state’s courts have sentenced no
defendant to execution. Even if all three capital cases still on
the docket end with the death penalty, this would be Texas’
lowest number for any year since the U.S. Supreme Court
reinstated capital punishment in 1976, according to public

Sep 30, 2015

Oklahoma governor grants last-minute stay of execution after drug mix-up

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Oklahoma’s governor granted a last-minute stay of execution on Wednesday to an inmate convicted of hiring a hit man, saying the state needed time to determine if one of three drugs it planned to use complies with its court-approved procedures.

Lawyers for Richard Glossip, 52, had argued for a stay, saying they had evidence pointing to his innocence, but they were turned down by the U.S. Supreme Court minutes before the scheduled start of the execution at 3 p.m. CDT.

Sep 30, 2015

Oklahoma set to execute man whose lawyers claim is innocent

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Oklahoma is set on Wednesday to execute a man who was convicted of hiring a hit man to murder the owner of a motel, despite the objections of the death row inmate’s lawyers who say they have evidence that points to his innocence.

Oklahoma plans to put Richard Glossip to death by lethal injection at 3 p.m. local time at its death chamber in McAlester. Glossip, 52, was found guilty of arranging the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, the owner of an Oklahoma City motel that Glossip was managing.

Sep 25, 2015

Texas man sentenced to 10 years for trying to aid al Shabaab militants

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas man was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation on charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to foreign terrorists, U.S. prosecutors said.

Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 24, pleaded guilty in July 2014 to being part of a conspiracy that attempted to provided material to the Islamist al Shabaab group, they said.

Sep 24, 2015

Texas football coach suspected of ordering hit on referee has lost job

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The assistant San Antonio high school football coach thought to have ordered his players to blindside a referee during a game no longer works for the Texas school district that employed him, a school official told an investigation panel on Thursday.

John Jay High School secondary coach Mack Breed asked players to hit the official during the game, according to statements the school district has received in an incident captured on a video seen millions of times that also set off a national debate about violence on the playing field.

Sep 23, 2015

Family of Texas teen arrested over homemade clock retains lawyers

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The family of a Texas teenager who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb has hired two Dallas attorneys to pursue his legal rights, a representative for the two said on Wednesday.

The case of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a Muslim student who dabbles in robotics and attended a Dallas-area high school, touched off a social media firestorm with many saying he was arrested because of his religion.

Sep 23, 2015

Texas high school football coach told players to hit official: ESPN

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – An assistant Texas high school football coach ordered his players to blindside a football official during a game as payback for what the team perceived to be the official’s use of racist language, TV sports network ESPN reported on Wednesday.

In a letter detailing his interactions with the head coach after the game, John Jay High School’s principal said the team’s secondary coach, Mack Breed, admitted he “directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls,” according to evidence gathered by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

Sep 23, 2015

U.S. woman says her detention in China for spy probe is about politics

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Houston woman detained in China in a case the unfolded as Chinese President Xi Jinping began a state visit to the United States said she was being held over politics and not for any crime, according to a letter released on Wednesday.

Chinese authorities have been holding Sandy Phan-Gillis for about six months under suspicion of spying and stealing state secrets. Details of her detention emerged as Xi began his visit, which includes a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.