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    On this date, February 27, 2012, The Chardon High School Shooting occurred at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. I will post information from Wikipedia before giving me thoughts on the juvenile shooter.

    A Legacy of Pride, a Future of Promise

    Chardon, Ohio, United States
    41°35′28″N81°12′1″WCoordinates: 41°35′28″N81°12′1″W
    February 27, 2012
    7:30 am (EST)
    Chardon High School
    Attack type
    Ruger MK III .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun
    Injured (non-fatal)
    T. J. Lane

    The Chardon High School shooting occurred on February 27, 2012, at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, United States. Three male students died within the two days following the incident. Two other students were hospitalized: one of whom sustained several serious injuries requiring extensive rehabilitation, the other with a minor injury. The seriously injured victim has been declared permanently paralyzed. A sixth student sustained a superficial wound.

    While rumors of a warning of the event having been posted on the Internet circulated, student witnesses identified the shooter as Thomas "T. J." Lane III. Although police were initially hesitant to publicly identify the juvenile after he was apprehended, by the evening of February 28, authorities confirmed that the suspect was Lane.

    The weapon Lane used in the shooting was a .22 caliber handgun. At an initial court hearing, the prosecutor revealed that he admitted to shooting 10 rounds of ammunition from the gun during the shooting, which began in the school cafeteria at approximately 7:30 a.m., shortly after school began. Although Lane told police that he did not know the victims and that they were chosen randomly, witnesses stated that it appeared he targeted a specific student and the group he was sitting with in the cafeteria.

    After the shooting occurred, Lane reportedly left the building. Witnesses stated he was chased from the building by a teacher, and was arrested a short time later in a location outside the school. Lane was ultimately indicted on three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder, and one count of felonious assault. He was initially detained as a juvenile pending further court action.

    Reaction to the event prompted a statement from Ohio Governor, John Kasich. Several prayer vigils were held and a fund for the victims was established. Thousands of people attended one of the vigils, at which the Governor spoke, the night after the attack. When the Westboro Baptist Church announced that they would demonstrate at the funeral of one of the victims, thousands more turned out to counter-protest. President Barack Obama gave his condolences to the school principal in a telephone call following the incident. Analysis of the crime and comparisons to similar attacks began immediately following the shooting.

    Lane received three life sentences on March 19, 2013.

    Injuries and Deaths
    1. Daniel Parmertor, 16 (deceased)
    2. Russell King, Jr., 17 (deceased)
    3. Demetrius Hewlin, 16 (deceased)
    4. Nate Mueller, 16
    5. Nick Walczak, 17
    6. Joy Rickers, 18


    The shooting began at approximately 7:30 a.m. (EST) in the Chardon High School cafeteria. A student witness said that the shooting began in the cafeteria before first period while students were eating breakfast. According to reports, a boy stood up and began shooting, causing chaos.

    A surveillance video showed that Lane shot four male students in the cafeteria with a .22 caliber handgun. As he fled, Lane shot a female student, and was then chased out of the school by a teacher, football coach Frank Hall. Lane was arrested outside the school near his car on Woodin Road.

    Initially, five students were hospitalized, three of whom later died. Two students, Joy Rickers and Nick Walczak, were taken to local Hillcrest Hospital, while Daniel Parmertor, Russell King, and Demetrius Hewlin were flown by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. A sixth student, Nate Mueller, was superficially injured when a bullet grazed his right ear.


    At noon on February 27, Chardon Police Chief Tim McKenna announced in a news conference that one of the victims had died. The first deceased student was identified as Daniel Parmertor, a 16-year-old high school junior, by a spokeswoman for Cleveland's MetroHealth Medical Center. His family issued a statement requesting that their privacy be respected. When Lane opened fire, Parmertor was in the cafeteria waiting for a bus to the Auburn Career Center vocational school in nearby Concord Township, where he studied computer science.

    At 12:42 a.m. the next day, a second student, Russell King, Jr., 17, was pronounced brain dead at MetroHealth Medical Center. King, a junior, studied alternative energy technologies. He was enrolled at both Chardon High School and at the Auburn Career Center. King's family released a statement thanking the public for support and offering sympathy to the families of the other victims. They also said that his organs would be donated as he had wished. A witness, Nate Mueller, said that King had recently started dating Lane's former girlfriend. Other student witnesses said that it appeared as if Lane was specifically aiming for King, indicating that he was the first to be shot. The students stated that King had previously threatened to beat Lane up. They told reporters that Lane had taken up weightlifting with the intention of fighting King.

    On February 28, it was reported that Demetrius Hewlin, the third student who was transferred to MetroHealth, had died. His family also expressed their sorrow for their loss in a statement to the press. Friends of Hewlin said that he liked to work out and wanted to be on the football team. Hewlin's mother, Phyllis Ferguson, in an interview with ABC News said of her son, "He wasn't a morning person and he was late for school. But that one day he wasn't late. We were running a little late, but we weren't late enough. But it's okay. It's in God's hands. Let His will be done." When questioned about what she would say to the assailant, she said that she would forgive him, because most school shooters did not know what they were doing. She explained that her son's organs would be donated and that one of the recipients was a child who was within days of death without a transplant.

    Other victims

    One of the two injured students who had been transferred to Hillcrest Hospital, 17-year-old Nick Walczak, was shot several times, and one bullet lodged in his cheek. He was also shot in the arm, neck and back. As he entered rehabilitation a week later, in "fair condition", there were questions about whether he would be able to walk again. His mother said that he was going to require therapy on his spine to restore the feeling in his legs. Joy Rickers, 18, was released from Hillcrest Hospital on February 28. Nate Mueller, who was not hospitalized, was nicked in his right ear by a bullet. Mueller and Walczak, students of Auburn Career Center, were waiting with Parmertor and King for the bus that would transfer them to their school on the morning of the shooting. One of the two injured students who had been transferred to Hillcrest Hospital, 17-year-old Nick Walczak, was shot several times, and one bullet lodged in his cheek. He was also shot in the arm, neck and back. As he entered rehabilitation a week later, in "fair condition", there were questions about whether he would be able to walk again. His mother said that he was going to require therapy on his spine to restore the feeling in his legs. Joy Rickers, 18, was released from Hillcrest Hospital on February 28. Nate Mueller, who was not hospitalized, was nicked in his right ear by a bullet. Mueller and Walczak, students of Auburn Career Center, were waiting with Parmertor and King for the bus that would transfer them to their school on the morning of the shooting. 

    Teacher actions

    After the shooting, students referred to two teachers, Frank Hall and Joseph Ricci, as heroes. The Daily Beast reported that news of the men's "courageous actions" spread when students expressed thanks on Twitter; the reports indicated that Hall had charged the shooter despite the shooter pointing his gun at the coach. A student told reporters that Hall frequently spoke of how much he cared for the students, a feeling which was shown by his actions.

    Meanwhile, Joe Ricci had just started his math class when he heard shots and ordered his students to "lockdown". According to a student witness, when Ricci heard moaning outside his classroom he put on a bulletproof vest, opened the door, dragged a wounded student, Nick Walczak, into the classroom and administered first aid. Walczak's family credits Ricci with saving his life. A student described the teachers as "two of the greatest leaders in our school."

    TJ Lane in November 2012 (Photo courtesy: Geauga County Sheriff's Office)


    Authorities did not release the suspect's name until late on February 27, but witnesses recognized him as Thomas "T. J." Lane, 17 (born September 19, 1994). The authorities were reluctant to release the name of the juvenile suspect, but CBS News reported that by early afternoon law enforcement officials had surrounded a house belonging to Thomas Lane. According to Melanie Jones, writing for International Business Times, reports on the possibility of Lane's involvement led to great press interest, which the police initially deflected. Later reporting that covered the court proceedings revealed that his full name is Thomas M. Lane, III.

    The authorities searched the home of the suspect's paternal grandparents in Chardon Township. T. J. Lane did not live there but would frequently visit on weekends. The residence, along with other properties owned by the Lane family, were searched extensively on the day of the shooting. A nearby forest, which neighbors said the Lane children used for target practice, was also combed.

    At the time of the shooting, Lane was not taking classes at Chardon High School, but at Lake Academy, an alternative school in nearby Willoughby. The school, which is also known as the Lake County Educational Service Center, served 55 students in February 2012. They were referred there from public schools in the region because of academic or behavioral needs. Students who complete their educations at Lake Academy graduate with their classmates at the sending schools.

    Witnesses said Lane appeared to be targeting students who were sitting together at one table, Four of the five victims who were sitting at that table were students at the Auburn Career Center. The bus Lane took from Chardon to Lake Academy was the same one the Auburn students took, but his stop was farther on the route. Lane also knew some of the victims from middle school.

    There were rumors that there had been a warning about the shooting posted on Twitter. News agencies published excerpts from the Facebook profile of a boy named "T. J. Lane". The profile did not give a location but several of the user's friends were listed as being from Chardon. One entry in particular, dated December 30, 2011, caught attention, especially the last line, which read: "Die, all of you." According to a comment posted by Lane on January 20, 2012, he wrote the text in class.

    Reactions of friends

    A friend of T. J. Lane described him as "a very normal, just teenage boy", she told CNN that she was in "complete shock" from the incident. She went on to say that Lane often had a sad look in his eyes, but came across as completely normal. Another friend said that Lane was regularly teased at school, which made Lane "put a wall around himself" and refuse to divulge personal information. A third student told reporters that Lane had come from "a really broken-down home", and was a quiet person who could be nice to others if he felt comfortable with them.

    Students at Lake Academy denied that he had been bullied. They described him as friendly and nice, but not very talkative.
    The weapon

    After Lane's arrest, law enforcement determined that the gun used in the shooting was purchased legally. Authorities said Lane had stolen the .22-caliber handgun from his uncle. The press reported that it was a Ruger MK III Target.22 calibersemi-automatichandgun. However, a neighbor who was close to the family said that it was a target revolverthat belonged to the boy's grandfather. When asked how it was possible to fire as many as ten or more rounds from a revolver in quick succession, the neighbor had no explanation and eventually admitted that the revolver theory was probably not true after all. Reports were that the shooter dropped the gun as he fled from the scene. It was found inside the school and recovered by police. Lane also admitted to taking a knife into Chardon High School.

    Suspect's violent past         

    On February 29, 2012, Tim Grendell, the juvenile court judge presiding over Lane's case, allowed the release of the suspect's juvenile records to the press. According to his records, T. J. Lane was arrested twice in December 2009. The first time, Lane restrained his uncle, while his cousin hit him. The other case involved Lane hitting another boy in the face. To the second charge, Lane pled to a count of disorderly conduct.

    Although family court records concerning T. J. Lane had not been released, as of March 12, 2012, the press did expose criminal records of Lane's father, Thomas M. Lane, Jr. The records showed that in 2002 the elder Lane was charged with attempted murder, but was found guilty of a lesser charge of assault and disruption, and served less than one year in prison. In an ordeal lasting nine hours, he physically and verbally assaulted a woman while three children were present. In addition, "he has arrests on a wide range of offenses including drug abuse and possession, violation of probation, public intoxication and disorderly conduct."


    On February 28, at 3:50 pm (EST), a detention hearing was held for the suspect at Geauga CountyJuvenile Court in Chardon. According to the LA Times, in the United States teenage suspects are generally treated as juveniles until prosecutors decide to charge them as adults. Judge Timothy J. Grendellbegan the proceeding by asking the media not to take photographs of the defendant until it was determined whether or not he would be tried as an adult. He immediately ruled that the defendant would remain in custody. At the prosecutor's request, the judge directed that the attorneys involved in the case refrain from speaking to the media regarding the proceeding. He then outlined conditions under which the media could participate, including not taking any facial photographs of the defendant or his family. After hearing the prosecutor's argument for continuing the detention and receiving no objection, the judge ruled that detention, at the Portage-Geauga Juvenile Detention Center in Ravenna, Ohio, should continue for 15 days. The issues of arraignment and possible transfer to adult court were put off to future dates. The judge stated that the prosecution had until March 1, 2012, to file charges.

    After the hearing, prosecutor David Joyce indicated that he would attempt to try Lane as an adult and file three counts of aggravated murder, among other charges, for the incident. It was revealed at the hearing that Lane admitted to shooting 10 rounds of ammunition during the incident. He also told the police that he did not know the victims and that they were selected randomly. However, a witness who said he knew the shooter indicated that Lane knew several of the victims.

    Outside defense attorneys observing the hearing questioned if Lane's attorney was protecting his client's rights. First, a concern was raised that Lane's attorney agreed with the judge that the gag order would not go into effect until after the press conference that prosecutor Joyce held following the hearing. One lawyer explained that this exception to the order gave the prosecution the opportunity to announce the defendant's confession publicly, thus influencing the jury pool. A second concern regarded Joyce's statement at the conference that Lane "is someone who's not well." Ian Friedman, a criminal attorney and past president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said that such things are generally said by defense attorneys. Another attorney said that in this case, he would file a motion which would ensure that the juvenile's mental health would be evaluated before the case was brought to the adult court. As of March 1, 2012, Lane's defense had filed no motions.

    On March 1, prosecutors formally charged Lane with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder, and one count of felonious assault. Lane did not enter a plea when he was arraigned on March 6. Two additional defense attorneys were assigned to the case in March, and the judge postponed the decision to try Lane as an adult until after a competency evaluation was completed. On April 9, Lane again appeared before Judge Grendell who set the date for a competency hearing for May 2. He also scheduled a hearing for May 12 to determine if the defendant be tried as an adult.

    The competency evaluation might have been requested by either the prosecution or the defense. It was speculated by one observing attorney that the judge might have made the decision himself. According to Ohio law, "a child may be found competent only if able to grasp the seriousness of the charges, if able to understand the court proceedings, if able to aid in the defense and if able to understand potential consequences. The law says a child with a mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability may not be found competent."

    In June 2012, it was determined that Lane would be tried as an adult. He was indicted on the six charges that were filed earlier in March: three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of felonious assault. On June 8, he pled not-guilty to those charges. His bail was set at $1 million, and he was scheduled to be transferred from the juvenile detention center to county jail on June 18. However, on June 20, a motion was filed with the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas stating that if someone were to pay a $120 fee, he could remain in the Portage-Geauga County Juvenile Detention Center.

    On February 26, 2013, Lane pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault.


    On March 19, 2013, Lane was sentenced to three life sentences in prison without parole. After entering the courtroom, he took off his dress shirt to reveal a white T-shirt underneath which had the word "Killer" handwritten across the front. He smiled and smirked during the hearing. After being sentenced, Lane said to the victims' families and the courtroom, "This hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory. Fuck all of you", while giving the middle finger. 

    AN American teenage gunman has mocked the grieving families of three students he killed in a school shooting, at a court hearing that saw him sentenced to life in prison. TJ Lane showed only contempt as he fidgeted in his seat wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "killer" that he had smuggled in under a dress shirt, a courtroom video feed showed. The 18-year-old then taunted the grieving family members with a vulgar description of how much he still enjoys the memory of killing their sons and ended his brief statement by waving his middle finger at the court. (SOURCE:
    Community reaction

    On the morning of the shooting, Ohio Governor John Kasich issued a statement in which he praised the Chardon Police and Geauga County Sheriff's office for their handling of the incident and pledged support to the community. The following day, Kasich ordered that the flag at the Ohio Statehouse, as well as all flags in Geauga County, be flown at half-staff.

    In the wake of the event, officials closed all Chardon schools on February 28. The School Department provided counseling and scheduled a gradual return to school for the students, teachers and staff, with school resuming in full on Friday, March 2, 2012. On the night of February 27, there were several vigils held including one at Assembly of God Church. After it was suggested on Facebook, tens of thousands agreed to wear red, one of Chardon High School's school colors, on February 28 in support of the school. The United Way set up The Chardon Healing Fund to help those traumatized by the shooting. The fund had already acquired $150,000 by the time its creation was announced on February 28.

    In the evening of the day following the attack, thousands of people attended a vigil at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chardon, where a funeral mass was scheduled for victim Daniel Parmertor, to take place the following weekend. As on February 28, people in attendance wore red. Chardon High School Principal Andy Fetchik spoke to rally the student body and encourage them to help each other during the healing process, while Kasich encouraged Chardon residents to support those who had lost loved ones. The following day, President Barack Obama telephoned Fetchik and expressed his condolences for the death of the students, saying that both he and First Lady Michelle Obama were praying for the high school community.

    Students return to school

    On March 2, 2012, the students entering the building received a warm welcoming. A student from West Geauga High School, her mother, and neighbor organized the "Line Up At Chardon" event via Facebook. They welcomed the students of Chardon high school back into the school building with a giant sign that says "I'll Stand By You" referencing the song by The Pretenders. More than 100 kids from the surrounding school districts, including West Geauga, came to show support. Also, the students of Chardon High School and their parents attended a "walk through" of the school. The senior class officers organized a procession from Chardon Square to the school that morning. The organizers invited participation in the three-quarter-mile walk on Facebook; the day before the activity, over 225 students had shown interest in participating.

    Classes resumed the next day. The cafeteria, where the shooting took place, was repainted and reorganized. The table where most of the victims were sitting at the time of the attack remained in place, however, as "a counterpoint to the way the other tables are arranged". The table was covered with flowers and stuffed animals.

    Funerals and protest

    On March 2, 2012, channel 5 in Cleveland reported that Fred Phelps, Jr., whose father founded the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), had posted on Twitter that the WBC was planning to "street-preach" about the Ohio shooting "regarding God's hand, judgments and vengeance in this affair.” Another Twitter post from a member of the church said the group would protest Daniel Parmertor's funeral. In response, Chardon resident Alex Pavlick sent out a request on Facebook for people to join him in forming a barricade around St. Mary's Church, where the funeral was to be held on March 3, if the WBC showed up to protest. He wrote that he wanted to ensure the funeral was not ruined by "a group of extremists.” By the time the story was posted on the television station's web site, 1600 people had agreed to join Alex in his counter-protest. The day of the funeral, the television station reported that a human barricade consisting of thousands had readied, but the WBC protestors did not come.

    Three days after Parmertor's funeral, Demetrius Hewlin's funeral was held, also at St. Mary's. Members of four motorcycle clubs, including the Patriot Guard Riders participated as part of the honor guard. The Patriot Guard was formed specifically to counter-demonstrate at funerals which are protested by the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Media comparison

    The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violencecalled the Chardon shooting "the deadliest high-school shooting in the U.S. since 2005". In that year, seven people were killed at Red Lake Senior High School in Minnesota. The Christian Science Monitor published an article that compared the attack at Chardon with other similar events such as the Columbine High School massacre. The article said that since the incident at Columbine, the occurrences of "student-initiated shootings" were in decline, pointing out that in the 2009–10 school year there were 33 school-related violent deaths. This was the lowest number of such deaths since the 2002–03 school year, the highest being the 2006–07 school year, in which there were 66 deaths from school violence. Suggesting that Columbine was a catalyst for attention to school shootings, the article's author wrote that heightened awareness of the problem may be responsible for the decline.

    The Monitor article included information from Kenneth Trump, the president of a school safety consulting firm. Trump noted that recent school shootings often involved "a lone shooter who may not have given many indicators of what he is planning, undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues," and were more difficult to detect due to "ballooning social media" masking the warning signs. He went on to explain that often indicators of these attacks appear on Twitter and Facebook. He added that there were several factors which could lead to an increase in school shootings, such as too much emphasis on bullying [as a cause], untreated mental illnesses, lower funding for school safety programs and training, and a possible complacency in students and administrators.


                As Lane was still a juvenile when he committed the school shooting, he will not be put to death. Even if he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, I am concern whether the sentence will be what it is, as LWOP had been declared unconstitutional for juveniles by the SCOTUS on June 25, 2012.

                His antics in court, not only reviewed to the public that he was unremorseful for his crimes but also tells that he is still a real danger to society. Be warned! He might be a violent lifer in prison where he might murder behind bars. I suggest showing this criminal profile to any ACLU demon and they will remain silent.

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    Let us remember Trooper Andrew J. Sperr who died in the line of duty on this date, March 1, 2006. Please go to this blog post to learn more. Please go to the Unit 1012 blog post to hear from his parents.

    Trooper Andrew J. Sperr

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                On this date, March 1, 2013, a Burmese Drug Lord together with his three subordinates were executed by lethal injection. The Chinese Courts had most probably used the Joint Enterprise Law. I will post the information from Wikipedia

    Naw Kham ,Hsang Kham from Thailand, Zha Xika of Laos and Yi Lai

    Naw Kham
    Sai Naw Kham
    8 November 1969
    Lashio, Shan State, Burma
    1 March 2013 (aged 43)
    Kunming, Yunnan, China
    Hawngleuk Militia
    Criminal charge
    Criminal penalty
    Lethal injection

    Sai Naw Kham(Chinese: 糯康; pinyin: Nuò Kāng; also spelt Nor Kham; 8 November 1969 – 1 March 2013) was the leader of a major drug trafficking gang in the Golden Triangle, a major drugs-smuggling area where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand converge. He was executed for killing 13 Chinese sailors.


    Naw Kham was formerly a subordinate associate of Khun Sa, a major Burmese drug lord who surrendered to the Burmese government in 1996 in exchange for amnesty. Naw's gang numbered in the hundreds and included members of Khun Sa's former paramilitary forces, along with ethnic rebels. At its height, Naw Kham's militia, the Hawngleuk Militia had 100 members and was based out of Tachileik, near the Thai-Burmese border. It was composed of guerillas from Shan State ethnic minorities such as the Shan, Wa, Lahu, Kachin and Palaung. The militia was involved in trafficking of methamphetamine and heroin, kidnapping, murder, racketeering, and banditry in the Mekong River area. Over the years, Naw Kham generated an estimated US$63 million in income through his crimes.

    After the Mekong River massacre in October 2011 and subsequent backlash from the Chinese, Laotian officials arrested Naw Kham and extradited him to China on 10 May 2012. Then in the July 2012 raids of Naw Kham's militia bases, Burmese authorities seized over 600,000 methamphetamine pills and 120 bars of heroin. Hunting for Naw Kham, the Chinese "special task group" has used new technologies such as the Beidou System according to the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China. Because the gang's remote hiding area is difficult to reach, even a UAV "execution operation" was once proposed.
    On 21 September 2012, Naw Kham pled guilty at the Intermediate People's Court in Kunming, Yunnan to the murders of thirteen Chinese sailors killed during the Mekong River massacre. He and three of his subordinates were sentenced to death. On 26 December 2012, the Yunnan Higher Court rejected Naw Kham's appeals, upholding the death penalties.

    Naw Kham was executed by lethal injection in Kunming on 1 March 2013 together with his three subordinates: Hsang Kham from Thailand; Yi Lai, stateless; and Zha Xika, a Laotian. Another 2 members of Naw Kham's gang, identified as Zha Bo and Zha Tuobo, received a death sentence with reprieve and 8 years in prison, respectively.

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           On this date, March 1, 2005, the United States Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18.

    Argued October 13, 2004
    Decided March 1, 2005
    Full case name
    Roper v. Simmons
    Docket nos.
    543 U.S. 551 (more)
    125 S. Ct. 1183; 161 L. Ed. 2d 1; 2005 U.S. LEXIS 2200; 73 U.S.L.W. 4153; 18 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 131
    Prior history
    Defendant convicted, motion for postconviction relief denied, Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Missouri; affirmed, 944 S.W. 2d 165 (Mo. 1997) (en banc), certiorari denied, 522 U.S. 953 (1997). Denial of petition for a writ of habeas corpus affirmed, 235 F. 3d 1124 (CA8), certiorari denied, 534 U. S. 924 (2001). Petition for a writ of habeas corpus granted, 112 S.W. 3d 397 (Mo. 2003) (en banc), certiorari granted, 540 U.S. 1160 (2004)
    The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed. Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed, and Stanford v. Kentucky overturned.
    Court membership
    Case opinions
    Kennedy, joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
    Stevens, joined by Ginsburg
    Scalia, joined by Rehnquist, Thomas
    Laws applied
    This case overturned a previous ruling

    Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551(2005), was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that it is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18. The 5-4 decision overruled the Court's prior ruling upholding such sentences on offenders above or at the age of 16, in Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989), overturning statutes in 25 states that had the penalty set lower.


    This case, in Missouri, involved Christopher Simmons, who, in 1993 at the age of 17, concocted a plan to murder Shirley Crook, bringing two younger friends, Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer, into the plot. The plan was to commit burglary and murder by breaking and entering, tying up a victim, and tossing the victim off a bridge. The three met in the middle of the night; however, Tessmer then dropped out of the plot. Simmons and Benjamin broke into Mrs. Crook's home, bound her hands and covered her eyes. They drove her to a state park and threw her off a bridge.

    Once the case was brought to trial, the evidence was overwhelming. Simmons had confessed to the murder, performed a videotaped reenactment at the crime scene, and there was testimony from Tessmer against him that showed premeditation (he discussed the plot in advance and later bragged about the crime). The jury returned a guilty verdict. Even considering mitigating factors (no criminal history and his age), the jury recommended a death sentence, which the trial court imposed. Simmons first moved for the trial court to set aside the conviction and sentence, citing, in part, ineffective assistance of counsel. His age, and thus impulsiveness, along with a troubled background were brought up as issues that Simmons claimed should have been raised at the sentencing phase. The trial court rejected the motion, and Simmons appealed.

    The case worked its way up the court system, with the courts continuing to uphold the death sentence. However, in light of a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), that overturned the death penalty for the mentally retarded, Simmons filed a new petition for state post conviction relief, and the Supreme Court of Missouri concluded that "a national consensus has developed against the execution of the mentally ill," and held that such punishment now violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Thus, they sentenced Simmons to life imprisonment without parole.

    The State of Missouri appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. (Donald P. Roper, the Superintendent of the correctional facility where Simmons was held, was a party to the action because it was brought as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.)

    Opinion of the Court

    This case was argued on October 13, 2004. The appeal challenged the constitutionality of capital punishment for persons who were juveniles when their crimes were committed, citing the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

    A 1988 Supreme Court decision Thompson v. Oklahoma barred execution of offenders under the age of 16. In 1989, another case, Stanford v. Kentuckyupheld the possibility of capital punishment for offenders who were 16 or 17 years old when they committed the capital offense. The same day in 1989, the Supreme Court ruled in the case Penry v. Lynaugh, that it was permissible to execute the mentally retarded. However, in 2002, that decision was overruled in Atkins v. Virginia, where the Court held that evolving standards of decency had made the execution of the mentally retarded cruel and unusual punishment and thus unconstitutional.

    Under the "evolving standards of decency" test, the Court held that it was cruel and unusual punishment to execute a person who was under the age of 18 at the time of the murder. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy cited a body of sociological and scientific research that found that juveniles have a lack of maturity and sense of responsibility compared to adults. Adolescents were found to be overrepresented statistically in virtually every category of reckless behavior. The Court noted that in recognition of the comparative immaturity and irresponsibility of juveniles, almost every state prohibited those under age 18 from voting, serving on juries, or marrying without parental consent. The studies also found that juveniles are also more vulnerable to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure. They have less control, or experience with control, over their own environment. They also lack the freedom that adults have, in escaping a criminogenic setting.

    In support of the "national consensus" position, the Court noted the increasing infrequency with which states were applying capital punishment for juvenile offenders. At the time of the decision, 20 states had the juvenile death penalty on the books, but only six states had executed prisoners for crimes committed as juveniles since 1989. Only three states had done so in the past 10 years: Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Furthermore, five of the states that allowed the juvenile death penalty at the time of the 1989 case had since abolished it.

    The Court also looked to practices in other countries to support the holding. Between 1990 and the time of the case, the court said, "only seven countries other than the United States ha[d] executed juvenile offenders ... : Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and China." Justice Kennedy noted that since 1990 each of those countries had either abolished the death penalty for juveniles or made public disavowal of the practice, and that the United States stood alone in allowing execution of juvenile offenders. The Court also noted that only the United States and Somalia had not ratified Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (September 2, 1990), which expressly prohibits capital punishment for crimes committed by juveniles.


    Justice Scalia wrote a dissent joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Thomas. Justice O’Connor also wrote a dissenting opinion. The dissents put into question whether a “national consensus” had indeed formed among the state laws, citing the fact that at the time of the ruling only 18 of 38 death penalty states (47%) prohibited the execution of juveniles (the other 12 states executed neither juveniles nor adults).

    However, the primary objection of the Court's two originalists, Justices Scalia and Thomas, was whether such a consensus was relevant. Justice Scalia argued that the appropriate question was not whether there was presently a consensus against the execution of juveniles, but rather whether the execution of such defendants was considered cruel and unusual at the point at which the Bill of Rights was ratified.

    In addition, Justice Scalia also objected in general to the Court's willingness to take guidance from foreign law in interpreting the Constitution; his dissent questioned not only the relevance of foreign law but also claimed the Court would "invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise," noting that in the case of abortion U.S. laws are less restrictive than the international norm.

    Scalia also attacked the majority opinion as being fundamentally antidemocratic. His dissent cited a passage from the Federalist Papers in arguing that the role of the judiciary in the constitutional scheme is to interpret the law as formulated in democratically selected legislatures. He argued that the Court exists to rule on what the law says, not what it should say, and that it is for the legislature, acting in the manner prescribed in Article V of the Constitution to offer amendments to the Constitution in light of the evolving standard of decency, not for the Court to arbitrarily make de facto amendments. He challenged the right of unelected lawyers to discern moral values and to impose them on the people in the name of flexible readings of the constitutional text.


    Impact on other death row prisoners

    In addition to striking down the death sentence of Christopher Simmons, the Supreme Court's decision in Roper v. Simmons also canceled the death sentences of 72 others for crimes they committed while younger than age 18. The greatest impact was in Texas, where 29 juvenile offenders were awaiting execution, and in Alabama, where there were fourteen. No other state had more than five such offenders on death row.

    Prior to the Roper decision, there had been 22 executions of juveniles since 1976, thirteen of them in Texas.
    Constitutional jurisprudence      

    The majority ruling highlighted several controversies in the field of constitutional jurisprudence. The first is the use of the concept of an evolving "national consensus" to allow for the re-interpretation of previous rulings. In this case, the evolving consensus was influenced by behavioral and other research studies, such as those presented to the court in an amicus brief by the American Psychological Association. What constitutes evidence for such a consensus—and from where the judicial branch derives its authority to determine it and implement it into law, a function constitutionally vested in the legislative branch—especially in the case of capital punishment, is unclear at this point. In Roper v. Simmons the majority cited the abolishment of juvenile capital punishment in 30 states (18 of the 38 allowing capital punishment) as evidence of such a consensus. In Atkins v. Virginia it was the "consensus" of the 30 states (18 of 38 allowing capital punishment) that had banned execution of the mildly retarded.

    Another controversy is the role of foreign laws and norms in the interpretation of U.S. law. In 2004 Representative Tom Feeney (FL-R) introduced a non-binding resolution instructing the judiciary to ignore foreign precedent when making their rulings: "This resolution advises the courts they are no longer engaging in 'good behavior' in the meaning of the Constitution and they may subject themselves to the ultimate remedy, which would be impeachment."

    Beltway sniper case

    The implications of this ruling were immediately felt in the State of Virginia, where Lee Boyd Malvo became no longer eligible for the death penalty for his role in the Beltway sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington, D.C. area in October 2002. At the time of the attacks, Malvo was 17 years old. Malvo had already been spared the death penalty in his first trial for the murder of FBI employee Linda Franklin in Falls Church, Virginia, and had pleaded guilty in another case in Spotsylvania County; however, he had yet to face trial in Prince William County, Virginia, as well as in Washington, D.C., Washington state, Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, California, Arizona and Alabama. In light of this Supreme Court decision, the prosecutors in Prince William County decided not to pursue the charges against Malvo. At the outset of the Beltway sniper prosecutions, the primary reason for extraditing the two suspects from Maryland, where they were arrested, to Virginia, was the difference in how the two states deal with the death penalty. While the death penalty is allowed in Maryland, it is only applied to persons who were adults at the time of their crimes, whereas Virginia had also allowed the death penalty for offenders who had been juveniles when their crimes were committed.
    Further developments

    In Ex parte Adams, 955 So. 2d 1106 (Ala. 2005), the Supreme Court of Alabama remanded the death sentence of a juvenile for a rehearing in the lower court in light of the Roper decision, which was released while the Adams case was pending appeal. Justice Tom Parker, who had participated in the prosecution of the case, recused himself. He, however, published an op-ed in The Birmingham News to criticize his non-recused colleagues for the decision. "State supreme courts may decline to follow bad U.S. Supreme Court precedents because those decisions bind only the parties to the particular case", wrote Justice Parker.

    The State sought review in the Supreme Court, raising a single issue, "Whether this Court should reconsider its decision in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)." The Supreme Court denied certiorari (i.e., declined to take the case for review) on June 19, 2006, without a published dissent.

    In Miller v. Alabama, 567 US __ (2012), in dissent, Justice Alito wrongfully identified Donald Roper as a 17-year-old brutal thrill-killer. Roper, in fact, was the Superintendent of the correctional facility where the murderer (Christopher Simmons) was held.

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    James Quinn Wilson
    QUOTE:People are governed in their daily lives by rewards and penalties of every sort. We shop for bargain prices; praise our children for good behavior and scold them for bad; expect lower interest rates to stimulate home building and fear that higher ones will depress it; and conduct ourselves in public in ways that lead our friends and neighbors to form good opinions of us. To assert that “deterrence doesn’t work” is tantamount to either denying the plainest facts of everyday life or claiming that would-be criminals are utterly different from the rest of us.

    AUTHOR:James Quinn Wilson (May 27, 1931 – March 2, 2012) was an American academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration. Most of his career was spent as a professor at UCLA and Harvard. He coauthored a leading university textbook on American government, as well as many scholarly books and articles, and op-ed essays. Conservatives especially welcomed his ideas on urban decay and police-related issues. He gained national attention for a 1982 article introducing the broken windows theory. Wilson served on many national committees and boards, and was elected president of the American Political Science Association.

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    On this date, March 3, 1999, Walter Bernhard LaGrand was executed by the gas chamber in Arizona. Six days earlier, his brother, Karl Heinz LaGrand was executed by lethal injection in that State. They were both charged for murdering a man in an armed robbery. 

    Executions in California were carried out in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison. It was modified for the use of lethal injection, but has been returned to its original designated purpose, with the creation of a new chamber specifically for lethal injection.
    Please go to this previous blog post to learn more.

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    Patricia Heaton
    QUOTE:"Indeed the tragedy of abortion haunts women from all walks of life. Abortion advocates are spending millions to package their tired rhetoric and half-truths in cutting-edge advertising campaigns targeted to young women. Please join me in supporting FFL's efforts to provide complete information, practical resources, and true choices through the College Outreach program."

    "The early feminists were pro-life. And really, abortion is a huge disservice to women, and it hasn't been presented that way. As Feminists for Life-what we're trying to do is support women, and so what we want to do is-reach women on campus-college campuses so that, when they get pregnant, they can find housing. They can find money they need to stay in school."(Sources: and an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor - Sept. 2002

    AUTHOR:Patricia Helen Heaton (born March 4, 1958) is an American actress and producer. She is known for portraying Debra Barone on the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996 to 2005, for which she won two Emmy Awards and as Frances "Frankie" Heck on the ABC sitcom The Middle.

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    70 years ago on this date, March 4, 1944, the head Gangster of Murder, Inc., Louis Buchalter was executed by the electric Chair in Sing Sing Prison, New York, USA. I will post information about him from Wikipedia.

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                On this date, March 8, 1947, the creator of the Warsaw Ghetto, Dr. Ludwig Fischer, was executed by hanging in Mokotów Prison, Warsaw, Poland. I will post information about him from Wikipedia.

    Ludwig Fischer

    Governor of the Warsaw District within the General Government
    In office
    September 1939 – January 1945
    Personal details
    16 April 1905
    Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (then in the Palatinate Region of the Kingdom of Bavaria in the German Empire)
    March 8, 1947 (aged 41)
    Mokotów Prison in Warsaw, Poland

    Dr.Ludwig Fischer (April 16, 1905 – March 8, 1947) was a German National Socialist lawyer, politician and a convicted war criminal.


    Born into a Catholic family in Kaiserslautern, Fischer joined the Nazi Party in 1926 while a student, and the Sturmabteilung (SA) in 1929, eventually rising to the rank of Gruppenführer. In 1937, he was elected to the Reichstag.

    Actions during Nazi occupation of Poland

    Main article: General Government administration             

    After the 1939 Invasion of Poland, he was appointed Governor of the Warsaw District in the occupied General Government (the area of Poland that was not formally annexed). He held this position until the withdrawal of the German forces from Warsaw in January 1945.

    Fischer was directly responsible for a number of war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity. He was responsible for the creation of the Warsaw Ghetto, issued many anti-Semitic laws, as well as participating in the bloody Ghetto de-establishment and deportation. He was also responsible for many terrors in the occupied city, including mass executions, slave labor programs and deportation of Polish Jews to the various Nazi Concentration Camps. He was sentenced to death by the Special Courts of the Polish resistance movement for crimes against Polish citizens. His name was first on the list of "Operation Heads"—the serial assassinations of Nazi personnel by the Polish Resistance. Before the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, his car was shot at in Operation Hunting, but Fischer survived.

    After the failure of the Warsaw Uprising, Fischer played an important role in the planned destruction of Warsaw by Nazi Germany. He was also responsible for the poor conditions in the temporary transit camp in Pruszków, which was built to intern people expelled from the capital.

    Postwar trial and execution

    Fischer, then aged 41, was arrested after the war by Allied forces and was handed over to the Polish authorities. He was tried before the Supreme National Tribunal and sentenced to death. He was executed by hanging in Warsaw's Mokotów Prison. There is a film in existence showing the execution of Ludwig Fischer, which is sometimes misidentified in the media as that of Amon Goeth

    VIDEO SOURCE:         


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              On this date, 9 March 1950, during post World War II Britain, Timothy Evans was executed by hanging at Pentonville Prison. Timothy Evans was one of the first ‘innocent’ people which I heard of being wrongfully executed, when I was in my childhood. His case was one of the few reasons that turned me to an abolitionist. However, as time passes, I studied the case carefully, I had doubts on whether he is truly innocent of his crimes.

    Please go to this previous blog post to learn more.

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    On this date, 9 March 2010, an Indonesian Terrorist, Dulmatin was A.K.A Genius was killed in a police raid. Let us not forget the victims who died under his terrorist activities, glad that another evil man was terminated from the face of the earth. I will post the information about him from Wikipedia


    6 June 1970
    Pemalang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia
    9 March 2010 (aged 39)
    Pamulang, Jakarta, Indonesia
    Other names

    • Abdul Matin
    • Muktarmar
    • Amar Usmanan
    • Joko Pitoyo
    • Joko Pitono
    • Pitono
    • Djoko
    • Noval
    • Genius
    Jemaah Islamiyah explosives expert, Alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings
    Criminal status

    Dulmatin(6 June 1970 – 9 March 2010) was a senior figure in the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and one of the most wanted terrorists in Southeast Asia. He was also known as Amar Usmanan, Joko Pitoyo, Joko Pitono, Abdul Matin, Pitono, Muktarmar, Djoko, and Noval. He had a nickname "Genius". Dulmatin was a Javanese with 172 cm tall, weighing 70 kg, with a brown complexion.

    According to the Jakarta Globe when he was a young man he attended a religious boarding school run by the founder of the Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Bakar Bashir.

    Dulmatin had received training in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. He was believed to have been the protégé of Azahari Husin and under Azahari's guidance Dulmatin became an electronics specialist and bomb making expert. He participated in the car bomb attack on the Philippine ambassador in Jakarta on 1 August 2000 and assembled the timers for the 38 Christmas 2000 church bombings in Indonesia which killed 19 people. He was one of the masterminds behind the 2002 Bali bombings in Indonesia which killed 202 people, including 27 from the United Kingdom and 88 Australian citizens . Working alongside Azahari, Dulmatin helped to assemble car bomb and explosive vests used in the attack. He allegedly set off one of the bombs with a mobile phone.

    He was believed to be with the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines since 2003 and was involved in providing explosive expertise and training other militants. From radio intercept and human intelligence, authorities believe that Dulmatin was wounded in a gun battle with the Philippines military in January 2007, on the southern island of Jolo. In May 2007, Dulmatin again eluded capture when he fled from a safe house in Simunul island just hours before Philippine police and military forces raided the location. The authorities found 4 children believed to be Dulmatin's children.

    The United States government offered a reward of up to US$10 million for the capture of Dulmatin under the Rewards For Justice Program.

    At the beginning of 2010 Dulmatin began training a group of militants in the foothills of Jalin, just south of Banda Aceh in Indonesia in an attempt to build a 'nerve centre for Southeast Asian terrorism' under the name 'Al-Qaeda of the Verandah of Mecca.' The group was quickly wiped out, beginning with police raids on 22 February 2010, when many were killed or arrested, and followed up with intelligence from locals and ex-rebels who banded against the non-Acehnese militants.

    Dulmatin was killed in a police raid in Pamulang, Jakarta on 9 March 2010 on the outskirts of Jakarta by Detachment 88, Indonesia's special counter-terrorism unit.

    (From L-R) Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Dulmatin, Imam Samudra, Umar Patek, Ali Imron and Ali Ghufron, who were convicted in 2002 Bali bombings. Dulmatin, the alleged mastermind was shot dead in a Jakarta police raid in 2010. AFP file photos [PHOTO SOURCE:

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              On this date, March 11, 2009, a Hispanic American repeat offender, Luis Cervantes Salazar, was executed by lethal injection in Texas. He had murdered once and the case went unsolved and he killed again, but did not get away this time. Please go to this blog post to learn more about him and go to the Unit 1012 Blog Postto hear from the victims’ families. 

    Luis Cervantes Salazar

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    Luis Cervantes Salazar

    QUOTE:" it surprising that today we have become so morally blind (for wickedness blinds) that we save the baby whales at great cost, and murder millions of unborn children?"[Alice von Hildebrand, The Privilege of Being a Woman, p.24]

    AUTHOR:Alice von Hildebrand (born Alice Jourdain, 11 March 1923 in Brussels, Belgium) is a Catholic philosopher and theologian and a former professor. She came to the U.S. in 1940 and began teaching at Hunter College in New York City in 1947. She was married to the famous philosopher and theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889–1977), meeting him at Fordham University in New York where she was a student and he was a professor. She remained married to him until his death. She retired in 1984. Alice von Hildebrand lives in the United States and is a lecturer and an author, whose works include: The Privilege of Being a Woman (2002) and The Soul of a Lion: The Life of Dietrich von Hildebrand (2000), a biography of her late husband.

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    Friedrich Fromm (8 October 1888 – 12 March 1945) was a German army officer. A recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, he was executed for failing to act against the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler.


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                 On this date, 14 March 2013, one of the Khmer Rouge leaders, Ieng Sary died before the case of his war crimes could be brought against him. I will post information about him from Wikipedia.


    Ieng Sary during a pre-trial detention hearing on 11 February 2010
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    In office
    15 January 1976 – 7 January 1979
    Prime Minister
    Khieu Samphan (acting)
    Nuon Chea
    Pol Pot
    Succeeded by
    Hun Sen
    Personal details
    24 October 1925
    Châu Thành District, Trà Vinh Province
    14 March 2013 (aged 87)
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Political party
    Communist Party of Kampuchea
    Ieng Thirith

    Ieng Sary(Khmer: អៀងសារី; 24 October 1925 – 14 March 2013) was a co-founder of the Khmer Rouge. He was the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1976 to 1979 and held several senior positions in the Khmer Rouge until his defection to the government in 1996.

    Ieng Sary, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Democratic Kampuchea (May 1978).
    Early years
    Ieng Sary was born in Nhan Hoa village, which is located in the subdistrict of Luong Hoa (also known as Loeung Va in Khmer), Châu Thành District, Trà Vinh Province, southern Vietnam in 1925. His father, Kim Riem was a Khmer Krom while his mother Tran Thi Loi, was a Chinese immigrant who moved to Vietnam with her parents when she was a little girl. Sary changed his name from the Vietnamese Kim Trang when he joined the Khmer Rouge. He was the brother-in-law by marriage of the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot (real name: Saloth Sar). Sary and Saloth Sar studied at Phnom Penh's Lycée Sisowath where their future wives, the sisters Khieu Thirith and Khieu Ponnary also studied. Before leaving Cambodia to study in Paris, Sary was engaged to Khieu Thirith.

    Sary and Saloth Sar also studied together in Paris. Whilst there, Sary rented an apartment in the Latin Quarter, a hotbed of student radicalism. He and Saloth Sar met with French communist intellectuals, and formed their own cell of Cambodian communists.

    Sary and Khieu Thirith married in the town hall of Paris' 15th arrondissement in the winter of 1951. Thirith took her husband's name, becoming Ieng Thirith.

    Ieng Sary, centre with cap, in 1977. It is estimated that a quarter of Cambodia's population were murdered or perished during the Khmer Rouge's years in power. Photograph: Documentation Centre of Cambodia/AFP

    After returning to Cambodia, he was inducted into the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Kampuchea in September 1960.

    After the fall of the Khmer Republic on 17 April 1975, Sary made personal appeals to expatriates to help rebuild Cambodia. However when they returned to Cambodia, they were arrested on arrival, and thrown into brutal detention centers. He took the nickname "Brother number 3" and, as head of diplomacy, he will be the only dignitary not to cultivate his secret identity.

    He welcomed foreign visitors and was also responsible for purges and arrests in the government's ministries. At the end of 1977, before the United Nations, he rejected accusations from Cambodian refugees who wanted to open a discussion with the Khmer Rouge government. Together with Pol Pot, Ieng Sary was sentenced to death in-absentia by the People's Revolutionary Tribunal after the Khmer Rouge were overthrown in 1979.

    King Norodom Sihanouk officially pardoned Ieng Sary in 1996. He was the founder of the Democratic National Union Movement, a split from the Cambodian National Unity Party.

    31 Aug 2011:Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary during the third day of Trial Chamber's preliminary hearing on fitness to stand trial.

    Arrest and trial

    Ieng Sary, reportedly living in "an opulent Phnom Penh villa surrounded by security guards and barbed wire" was arrested on 12 November 2007 in Phnom Penh on an arrest warrant from the Cambodia Tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity. His wife, Ieng Thirith, was also arrested for crimes against humanity.

    On 16 December 2009, the tribunal officially charged him with genocide for his involvement with the subjugation and murder of Vietnamese and Muslim minorities in Cambodia.


    Sary died in Phnom Penh on 14 March 2013 at the age of 87, before the case against him could be brought to a verdict. He had heart problems for years as well as other ailments. He was taken from his holding cell at the special tribunal to a hospital on 4 March 2013 for what his lawyers said were gastrointestinal problems. Sary's body was transported to his home in Banteay Meanchey province. The body lay for seven days before being cremated. At the time of his death, Sary was on trial for his involvement in the Khmer Rouge. Elisabeth Simonneau Fort, a lawyer for the victims, said "For the victims, this death narrows the scope of the trial and limits their search for truth and justice".


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    The assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of a conspiracy by many Roman senators who called themselves Liberators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, they stabbed Julius Caesar to death in a location adjacent to the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 BC. Caesar was the dictator of the Roman Republic at the time, having recently been declared dictator perpetuo by the Senate. This declaration made several senators fear that Caesar wanted to overthrow the Senate in favor of tyranny, yet the conspirators never restored the Roman Republic. The ramifications of the assassination led to the Liberators' civil war and, ultimately, to the Principate period of the Roman Empire.
    Please go to Wikipediato learn more.

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    I chose this article as the Soldiers’ Article of the month, as on this date, March 15, 2011 was the beginning of the Syria Civil War. Please see a similar Blog post by going here.
    NOTICE: The following article is written by the author itself and not by me, I am not trying to violate their copyright. I will give some information on them.
    ARTICLE TITLE:Why I Am Against War in Syria
    DATE: Tuesday November 20, 2012
    AUTHOR: Glenn Beck
    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Glenn Edward Lee Beck (born February 10, 1964) is an American conservative, television network producer, media personality, radio host, author, entrepreneur, and political commentator. He hosts the Glenn Beck Program, a nationally syndicated talk-radio show that airs throughout the United States on Premiere Radio Networks. He formerly hosted the Glenn Beck television program, which ran from January 2006 to October 2008 on HLN and from January 2009 to June 2011 on the Fox News Channel. Beck has authored six New York Times-bestselling books. Beck is the founder and CEO of Mercury Radio Arts, a multimedia production company through which he produces content for radio, television, publishing, the stage, and the Internet. It was announced on April 6, 2011, that Beck would "transition off of his daily program" on Fox News later in the year but would team with Fox to "produce a slate of projects for Fox News Channel and Fox News' digital properties". Beck's last daily show on the network was June 30, 2011.In 2012, The Hollywood Reporter named Beck on its Digital Power Fifty list. Beck's supporters praise him as a constitutional stalwart defending traditional American values while his critics contend he promotes conspiracy theories and employs incendiary rhetoric for ratings.

    The anti-war Glenn Beck?

    I’ll admit it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. After all, I used to be guy on the sidelines cheering the ‘freedom on the march’ argument every time a president wanted to lob missiles or put boots on the ground somewhere.

    But that all changed for me several years ago when I began to realize this democracy building mentality was a progressivementality. Discovering the progressive strain of politics existed was a major pivot point in my life. I’m really big on pivot points – if you have a major change on an issue it should be accompanied by something so memorable you remember ever detail in the room when you discovered it. I remember being our Radio City studios when I heard Hillary Clinton explain she didn’t like to be called liberal but preferred being called an early 20th century progressive.  I started researching and my eyes were opened to the fact that progressives were marching forward while regular liberals and conservatives were simply being used. That’s my pivot point and the main reason why I’m against war in Syria today.

    I want to address everyone making the opposite argument today than they did 10 years ago:

    Why have you switched?

    Are you doing it merely because of politics or because of loyalty to Obama? Have you had an honest pivot point?

    Too much is at stake to not know or admit the honest answer to this question. You may disagree with me on almost everything I say – that’s fine — but I defy you to look at the facts of Syria and come away concluding this is something America should be engaging in.

    War with Syria is suicidal and here are just a few reasons why.

    China’s Foreign Minister said American should ‘think thrice’ before acting and exercise ‘extreme caution’ in what is a clear declaration of support for Assad’s regime. Russia has unabashedly come to the aid of Assad by sending a steady stream of weapons and recently they bolstered their naval presence near the Syrian coast with a missile cruiser and a destroyer among other ships. Iran, of course, has vowed to support Syria ‘to the end’ in the face of possibly military strikes from the United States.

    Since the Arab Spring the Middle East has come unraveled – something that didn’t seem possible given its already volatile nature. Egypt is on the verge of civil war, Libya is suffering in lawless ruin, and Syria is mired in a deadly civil war that’s killed hundreds of thousands of people. The Assad regime, the radical terrorists fighting against Assad, and the Obama administration itself all admit a limited and measured strike from the United States will neither end the civil war nor change regimes.
    So why bother doing it? What is this really all about?  Here are a few of the keys:

    -Assad saw what happened in Egypt and Libya and he’s making sure he does not suffer the same fate. He’s a dictator desperately trying to hold onto his power through any means possible.

    -Iran doesn’t have many allies around the world, but Syria is one of them. Iran depends on Syria to funnel weapons to terrorist organization Hezbollah, whose main base of operation is in Lebanon. Hezbollah views any threat to the Assad regime as a threat to Palestinians and Lebanon.

    -Syria hosts a Russian naval base on the Mediterranean and Russia needs the access to warm water ports or else they are either land locked or ice locked.

    -Another major factor is oil & natural gas. Syria is one of the most strategic places for pipelines to flow into Europe. Qatar proposed a massive pipeline that would weave through Syria, but Assad turned that down in 2009 and instead partnered up with Russia and Iran to get the pipeline, which is due to open in 2016.

    When questioned about the high cost of the war, Secretary of State John Kerry assured Americans by saying Arab nations have agreed to fund the entire cost of the war. Certainly this isn’t out of the kindness of their hearts or because they enjoy the United States getting militarily involved in Middle Eastern affairs – it’s because there’s a boat load of money at stake. If you want to figure out which side of the Syria conflict a particular nation is on, just figure out if they benefit or are harmed by the ‘Islamic pipeline’ and you’ll likely have your answer.

    But there is another factor at play: Destabilization.

    I’ve talked a lot about the Archduke Ferdinand moment. When Archduke Ferdinand (of Austria-Hungary) was assassinated in Bosnia in 1914 it triggered a chain reaction that ultimately led to World War I.

    Here’s what happened:

    Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist who was protesting Austria-Hungary’s control over Bosnia. Serbia at the time was trying to gain control over Bosnia.

    Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

    Russia mobilized to give military aid to Serbia, an ally.

    Germany then declared war on Russia.

    When a Tunisian fruit cart vendor set himself on fire in protest and died, the President likened his actions to that of Rosa Parks. High praise considering Parks helped spark one of the most important civil rights movements in history. I didn’t see it that way –I saw it as 1914 all over again and another chance for extremists to attempt to redraw the map through war.

    I believe I was right.

    We all know the powerful images and the message of peaceful protest that came out of the civil rights movement. What has come from the Tunisian fruit cart vendor?

    We have not seen peaceful marches – we’ve seen the violent overthrow of governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. We’ve seen devastating civil war in Syria for over two and a half years and hundreds of thousands of people dead. We’ve seen radical Islamists murdering Christians and eating the hearts out of their sworn enemy on videotape. We’ve seen American journalists raped in the streets, Priests beheaded, scores of civilians brutally executed in the streets. We’ve seen Russia, Iran, China, the United States preparing and posturing for war on a global scale.

    I’m having a really hard time finding Rosa Parks anywhere near this colossal mess.

    It isn’t some political game for us to get involved in so those who have made threats can save a little face. ‘Limited’ and ‘measured’ means nothing to the family whose home was just obliterated by a stray bomb. It means nothing to the Christians, the moderate Muslims, the homosexuals, the atheists, or anyone else who won’t submit to the will of a dictator nor the dictates of Sharia Law under radical Islamic rule. Try this – put yourself in the shoes of the typical woman in Syria. Are they excited about the prospect of United States military strikes? What is the best possible outcome for them?

    First they have to survive the bombings. If they manage to accomplish that, they’ll face one of two scenarios. Either Assad remains in power and they have to live in fear of government crackdowns OR Assad is ousted and the people are forced to live under radical Islamic rule and the harsh conditions of Sharia Law.

    The cost of getting involved is far too high and it’s the people of Syria are the ones who will pay the price. It will eventually cost all citizens of the globe as it will put us another step closer to World War III.

    And for what? America to save face? To Secure pipelines?

    The time for politics and party loyalty is over. Do your own homework. If you just take the administration’s word for it (or John McCain or John Boehner or Lindsey Graham’s for that matter) that it’s ‘slam dunk’ case, I believe you are part of the problem. Likewise, if you are against it just because I said so but you really don’t know why – you are part of the problem too. You are stopping, dare I say it – progress.

    If we continue to allow others to dictate our thinking then we deserve what we reap.

    But the innocent people who will suffer in the Middle East do not.

    Featured image credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

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                On this date, March 24, 1949, an Austrian SS Nazi War Criminal, Hanns Albin Rauter was executed by firing squad. I will post the information about him from Wikipedia.

    Hanns Albin Rauter
    4 February 1895
    Klagenfurt, Austro-Hungarian Empire
    (now Austria)
    24 March 1949
    Near Scheveningen, Netherlands
    Nazi Germany
    Years of service
    1914-1919, 1921, 1927-1945
    SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police
    Commands held
    Chief of the SS & Police of the Netherlands (1940-1945)
    World War I
    World War II

    Johann Baptist Albin Rauter (February 4, 1895 – March 24, 1949) was a high-ranking Austrian-born Nazi war criminal. He was the highest SS and Police Leader in the occupied Netherlands and therefore the leading security and police officer there during the period of 1940-1945. He reported directly to the Nazi SS-chief, Heinrich Himmler, and in the second instance to the Nazi governor of the Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart. After World War II he was convicted in the Netherlands of crimes against humanity and executed by firing squad.

    Early life and career

    Born in Klagenfurt, Rauter graduated from High school in 1912 and started training as an Engineer at the Graz University of Technology. At the outbreak of World War I Rauter volunteered for service in the Austro-Hungarian Army. He served with a Gebirgsschützenregiment and was discharged in 1919, having reached the rank of Oberleutnant. Rauter took part in the Kärntner Freiheitskampf of 1919, and from May until July 1921 he fought in the Freikorps Oberland in Oberschlesien.

    Rauter first met Adolf Hitler in 1929 and joined the National Socialist cause in Austria. His forays in Austria forced him to flee to Germany in 1933, where he became part of the NSDAP department for Austria. He joined the SA, and was active in planning illegal NSDAP activities in Austria. In 1935 he left the SA to become a member of the SS. Until 1940 he was the Leader of the SS Southeast department in Breslau.

    Actions in the occupied Netherlands

    In May 1940 he was appointed Generalkommissar für das Sicherheitswesen(State secretary for of security forces) and Höherer SS-und Polizeiführer(Highest SS and Police leader) for the occupied Netherlands. In his position as police commander and highest ranking SS leader in the Netherlands, Rauter was responsible for the deportation of 110,000 Dutch Jews to the Nazi concentration camps (6,000 survived) and the repression of the Dutch resistance. He had 300,000 Dutchmen deported to Germany for forced labour. His first victims to die were those killed during the armed break up of the February strike on February 26, 1941, accounting for 9 dead that day: he also immediately declared a state of emergency and ordered summary executions.

    He was the chief promoter of terror through summary arrests and internment in the Netherlands. The SS set up a concentration camp named Herzogenbusch after the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, but located in the neighboring town of Vught that gave the camp its name: Kamp Vught. In total this camp detained 31,000 people, of whom some 735 were killed. Also, his SS manned a so-called polizeilches Durchgangslager or police transit camp near Amersfoort, known as Kamp Amersfoort, in fact also a concentration camp, where some 35,000 people were detained and maltreated and 650 people (Dutch and Russian) died. Rauter's SS also managed the Kamp Westerbork (polizeiliches durchganslager Westerbork), the place from which some 110,000 Dutch Jews were deported to Nazi concentration and extermination camps, mainly Auschwitz and Sobibor.

    Under Rauter's guidance, a special block was built for 'political prisoners' (i.e. resistance workers) in the Scheveningen prison. These were often held in indefinite detention. In total 28,000 people were detained here over 4 years; many were severely mistreated, some were tried and 738 men and 21 women died here or on the nearby execution field, the Waalsdorpervlakte (now a national place of remembrance).

    Rauter also instigated a system of retaliation for assaults on Nazi officials and their Dutch collaborators: one killed Nazi equalled ten Dutch victims, one killed Dutch collaborator equalled three Dutch victims. During 1944 these numbers sharply increased with the rise of resistance violence

    During the Allied assault on Arnhem in Operation Market Garden, Rauter took the active field command of the Kampfgruppe Rauter during operations in the Veluwe area and near the bridges over the IJssel river. Kampfgruppe Rauterconsisted of the Landstorm Nederland, Wachbataillon Nordwest and a regiment of the Ordnungspolizei. After the assault on Arnhem had been fought off by the Germans, Rauter was given the command of the Maas front as a General in the Waffen-SS.

    In the night of 7 to 8 March 1945 he was severely wounded by an attack staged by the Dutch resistance at "Woeste Hoeve" on the Veluwe, a little village between Arnhem and Apeldoorn. As a reprisal the Germans executed 117 political prisoners at the location of the attack as well as 50 prisoners in Kamp Amersfoort and 40 prisoners each in The Hague and Rotterdam. This attack had not been planned; the resistance merely wanted to hijack a truck and use it to drive to a farmer who had butchered cows for the German army. Instead of the truck, Rauter's BMW motorcar was stopped by members of the resistance dressed in German uniforms. However, Rauter had just two weeks earlier issued a directive stating that German patrols should not stop any German military vehicles outside towns or villages, and a firefight broke out. His fellow passengers were all killed, but Rauter feigned death and survived. He was found by a German military patrol and transferred to a hospital where he remained until his arrest by British Military Police after the end of hostilities.

    Leider Anton Mussert giving a speech to NSB volunteers in Den Haag, October 1941. To the rear are Rijkscommissaris Hendrik Seyffardt and SS Obergruppenführer Hanns Albin Rauter
    After the war

    Rauter was handed over to the Dutch government by the British and was tried by a special court in The Hague. Rauter denied committing war crimes but the court found him guilty and sentenced him to death. A film record was made of the trial.

    The death sentence was confirmed by a higher court on 12 January 1949 and he was executed by firing squad near Scheveningen on 24 March 1949. The location of his grave remains a state secret.

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                Every year on March 25, I will remember Saint Dismas, the penitent thief. The thief whom Jesus forgave when they were crucified and he went up to heaven.

    Statue of St Dismas (1750) in Březnice, Czech Republic.
    The Good Thief
    c. 33 AD
    Golgotha Hill outside Jerusalem
    Honored in
    Eastern Orthodox Church
    Catholic Church
    March 25
    Wearing a loincloth either holding his cross or being crucified; sometimes, standing in Paradise
    prisoners, especially condemned prisoners; undertakers; repentant thieves; Merizo, Guam, San Dimas, Durango

    The Penitent thief, also known as the Thief on the Cross or the Good Thief, is an unnamed character mentioned in the Gospel of Luke who was crucified alongside Jesus and asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, unlike his companion the Impenitent thief. He is traditionally referred to as "St. Dismas".
    In different Christian traditions different names have been given to the thief:
    • In the Arabic First Infancy Gospel he is called Titus, and the impenitent thief Dumachus.
    • In the Gospel of Nicodemus and Catholic tradition the name Dismas is given to the thief. He was never canonized by the Catholic Church but is venerated as a saint by local traditions as Saint Dismas (sometimes spelled "Dysmas" or in Spanish "Dimas"). The name Dismas for this thief may date back to the 4th century.
    • In Coptic Orthodox tradition he is named Demas.
    • In Codex Colbertinus he is named Zoatham.
    • In Russian Orthodox tradition he is named Rach.
    Gospel of Luke

    The narrative

    Two men were crucified at the same time as Jesus, one on his right hand and one on his left (Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27-28, Luke 23:33, John 19:18), which Mark interprets as fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12. According to Matthew, both of the "thieves" mocked Jesus (Matthew 27:44); Luke however, mentions that

    39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."40 The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? 41 And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."43 He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." 23:39-43

    Today... in paradise

    Main article: Paradise

    The phrase translated "today... in paradise" in Luke 23:43 ("Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, σήμερον μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ") is disputed in a minority of versions and commentaries. The Greek manuscripts are without punctuation, so attribution of the adverb "today" to the verb "be", as "be in paradise today" (the majority view), or the verb "say", as "today I say" (the minority view), is dependent on analysis of word order conventions in Koine Greek. The majority of ancient Bible translations also follow the majority view, with only the Aramaic Curetonian Gospels offering significant testimony to the minority view.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas: "The words of The Lord (This paradise) must therefore be understood not of an earthly or corporeal paradise, but of that spiritual paradise in which all may be, said to be, who are in the enjoyment of the divine glory. Hence to place, the thief went up with Christ to heaven, that he might be with Christ, as it was said to him: "Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise"; but as to reward, he was in Paradise, for he there tasted and enjoyed the divinity of Christ, together with the other saints."

    Russian Orthodox icon of The Good Thief in Paradise (Moscow School, c. 1560).
    Christian traditions


    Augustine of Hippo does not name the thief, but wonders if he might not have been baptized at some point.

    According to tradition, the Good Thief was crucified to Jesus' right hand and the other thief was crucified to his left. For this reason, depictions of the crucifixion often show Jesus' head inclined to his right, showing his acceptance of the Good Thief. In the Russian Orthodox Church, both crucifixes and crosses are usually made with three bars: the top one, representing the titulus (the inscription that Pontius Pilate wrote and was nailed above Jesus' head); the longer crossbar on which Jesus' hands were nailed; and a slanted bar at the bottom representing the footrest to which Jesus' feet were nailed. The footrest is slanted, pointing up towards the Good Thief, and pointing down towards the other.

    According to St. John Chrysostom, the thief dwelt in the desert and robbed or murdered anyone unlucky enough to cross his path. According to Pope Saint Gregory the Great he "was guilty of blood, even his brother's blood; (fratricide)".

    The thief's conversion is sometimes given as an example of the necessary steps one must take to arrive at salvation through Christ: awareness of personal sin, repentance of sin, acceptance of Christ and salvation's promise of eternal life. Further, the argument is presented that baptism is not necessary for salvation since the thief had no opportunity for it.

    "Christ and the Thief" by Nikolai Ge.

    The name Dismas

    Only the Gospel of Luke describes one of the thieves as penitent, and even that gospel doesn't name him. Luke's unnamed penitent thief was later assigned the name Dismas in the Gospel of Nicodemus, portions of which may be dated to the 4th century. The name "Dismas" was adapted from a Greek word meaning "sunset" or "death." The other thief's name is given as Gestas. In Jean Joseph Gaume's Life of the Good Thief (Histoire Du Bon Larron French 1868, English 1882), Saint Augustine said; the thief said to Jesus, the child: “O most blessed of children, if ever a time should come when I shall crave Thy Mercy, remember me and forget not what has passed this day." Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich saw the Holy Family "exhausted and helpless"; according to St. Augustine and St. Peter Damian, the Holy Family met Dismas, in these circumstances.

    The apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel calls the two thieves Titus and Dumachus, and adds a tale about how Titus (the good one) prevented the other thieves in his company from robbing Mary and Joseph during their Flight into Egypt.

    In the Russian tradition the Good Thief's name is "Rakh" (Russian: Рах).

    Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria (385–412) wrote a Homily on the Crucifixion and the Good Thief, which is a classic of Coptic literature.


    The Catholic Church remembers the Good Thief on 25 March. In the Roman Martyrology, the following entry is given "Commemoration of the Good Thief in Jerusalem who confessed Christ on the cross and deserved to hear from Him these words, "This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”

    A number of towns, including San Dimas, California, are named after him. There also exist parish churches named after him, such as the Church of the Good Thief in Kingston, Ontario, Canada—built by convicts at Kingston Penitentiary, Saint Dismas Church in Waukegan, Illinois and the Church of St. Dismas, the Good Thief a Roman Catholic church at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

    Icon showing Christ (center) bringing Dismas (left) into Paradise. At the right are the Gates of Paradise, guarded by a seraph (Solovetsky Monastery, 17th century).