Friday, November 17, 2017

Dylann Roof's defense attorneys ask for more time in appeals case

Opening brief was set for Monday

Posted by Adam Manno on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 5:56 PM

Dylann Roof arrives in state court on April 10, 2017, before pleading guilty to murder - GRACE BEAHM/POST AND COURIER
  • Grace Beahm/Post and Courier
  • Dylann Roof arrives in state court on April 10, 2017, before pleading guilty to murder
Attorneys for convicted Mother Emanuel shooter Dylann Roof have asked for a 90-day extension as they work the appeal process of his death sentence.

According to the motion filed Thursday, Roof's attorneys need more time to sift through documents they either haven't received or haven't been able to read before the opening brief date of Nov. 20.

The defense team argues that they are missing 221 sealed pleadings filed in district court, at least one transcript, billing records, juror composition files, as well as most of the records from the state case. They may also be missing portions of multimedia exhibits presented at trial. The motion makes clear that the list is "incomplete because we have not finished our review of the parts of the record that we do have."

Roof was convicted of 33 federal hate crime charges in December 2016 and sentenced to death in January. In March, Roof pled guilty to nine counts of murder in state court, among other charges, before being sentenced to life in prison nine times in April.

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The Agenda: Decade of new laws missing required seal; Pols pass on SCE&G proposal; Scott pushes gun check reforms

Constitutionally-required seal responsibility of Secretary of State

Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 12:22 PM

The S.C. state Constitution requires that bills and resolutions passed by the state legislature to have the state seal "affixed" to it. But apparently some 10 years worth of legislation are missing the seal, which is the responsibility of Secretary of State Mark Hammond, who's been in office for 15 years. Source: AP

Gov. Henry McMaster has requested a fast decision from the State Supreme Court, clarifying a July ruling that could weaken state domestic violence rules. Source: P&C

Yesterday, SCE&G pitched its idea to marginally cut customers' bills in the aftermath of the failure of the company's plans to expand a nuclear plant, but lawmakers weren't having any of it, with House lawmakers announcing a hearing during the week of Thanksgiving to begin hashing out a way to completely stop payments to the utility. Source: P&C

P&C editorial: "No deal for SCANA leaders"

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican, and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut are among the senators spearheading a background check reform law that would require state and federal agencies to make sure they report relevant records to the national background check database. Source: P&C

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Slager to be sentenced in December for violating Walter Scott's civil rights

Maximum sentence for civil rights violation could be life in prison

Posted by Adam Manno on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM

Michael Slager pleads guilty in a Charleston federal courthouse May 2, 2017. - ROBERT MANISCALCO
  • Robert Maniscalco
  • Michael Slager pleads guilty in a Charleston federal courthouse May 2, 2017.
Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer caught on video shooting Walter Scott as he fled a 2015 traffic stop is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Dec. 4, according to court documents.

U.S. District Court Judge David Norton will hear from prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case that has drawn out since Slager stopped Scott for a broken brake light on April 4, 2015.
In early May of this year, Slager pled guilty to a federal charge of violating Scott’s civil rights as part of a plea bargain, allowing him to avoid a re-trial on state murder charges. The maximum penalty for the civil rights violation is life in prison, but experts told the Post and Courier that Slager will likely face just five to 20 years.
“Today, in working with the [Justice] Department, we found justice in a resolution that vindicates the state’s interests by holding former police officer Michael Slager accountable for shooting Mr. Scott (in the back) when Slager knew it was wrong and illegal, as well as justice in a resolution that recognizes the egregious violation of Mr. Scott’s civil rights,” said lead prosecutor and Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson in a statement in May.

“He certainly was not looking for trouble that day, with the idea to hurt somebody,” Slager defense attorney Andy Savage told The Post and Courier. “If what happened before the shooting never happened, this could have easily been prevented, and we intend to re-emphasize that at sentencing. About two minutes of the whole incident probably hasn’t been fully developed in the public’s mind.”

The original 2016 state trial ended in a hung jury.

Bystander Feidin Santana filmed the shooting on his cellphone. The video made rounds as one in a series of high-profile incidents of police brutality and excessive force against minorities.
Since Scott’s death, community groups including the Charleston Area Justice Ministry have worked to force change within police departments in Charleston and North Charleston, pushing for new policies that encourage more equity in local policing.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

International African American Museum announces $500,000 pledge from Gilder Foundation

Fundraising goal post remains at $9 million

Posted by Adam Manno on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 2:33 PM

Designs for the International African American Museum at Gadsden's Wharf - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Designs for the International African American Museum at Gadsden's Wharf
The International African American Museum announced a half-a-million dollar donation from the New York-based Gilder Foundation Thursday morning.

The museum's $25 million private fundraising goal is still just $9 million short given that remaining totals are announced before established donor names, according to IAAM spokesperson Alexa Asendorf.

The Gilder Foundation was established in 1965 by Richard Gilder and his wife Lois Chiles, according to Inside Philanthropy. The foundation focuses on education and historic preservation.

In 1998, Richard Gilder helped start the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at his alma mater, Yale University. Gilder is also a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History.

He is the co-founder of private brokerage firm Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.

“Over the years, I have prioritized the support of historical institutions,” Mr. Gilder in an IAAM press release. “Study of the past is crucial to understanding the present and creating a better future. The IAAM and its Center for Family History will provide critical insight into our country’s history and connect individuals to their pasts in meaningful ways.”

IAAM plans to open in 2020 at Gadsden's Wharf, where enslaved Africans awaiting sale were held for upwards of many months, according to the IAAM website.

The museum announced another $500,000 contribution from Benefitfocus CEO Shawn Jenkins and executive chairman Mason Holland earlier this month.

"Given our backgrounds in the technology space, we see the value and potential of this museum," Jenkins said in a statement acquired by The Post and Courier. "This institution will evolve over time, serving generations to come. It’s exciting to support a cultural landmark that will serve this community and its families far into the future."

The museum's $75 million price has been a point of contention in the state House, where lawmakers pulled from committing public funding for the effort until private fundraising was secured. Eventually, one third of the funding will come from private donations, one third will come from the state, and the other third will come from Charleston County and the City of Charleston.

Other donations, which have also been counted towards the fundraising total, have yet to be announced.

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Get your downtown Charleston holiday 2017 parking voucher right here

This year, I'm thankful for free parking

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:44 PM

Along with a well-paying job, affordable housing, and a decent brunch without a wait, free parking is becoming an increasingly hot commodity in downtown Charleston. And that's fine. If people insist on strapping themselves inside a steel cage propelled by the energy harnessed by a set of controlled explosions, they should at least pay for a space to tie the thing up on the side of the road, right?

Well, just like the bag of toys that appears in your living room on Christmas morning, we're here with a little present for all you Scrooges and Buddys. You know what they say, the best way to spread holiday cheer is putting this free parking voucher right over here.

Print off this bad boy for two hours of free parking at participating city and county garages downtown beginning on Black Friday. At this point, we know garages at the Visitor Center, 34 St. Philip, Concord-Cumberland, and East Bay-Prioleau are participating. The city advises you to check their website for more info next week. Free parking, right? Can't be too picky.


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