Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday October 14
1 .Hillary Clinton’s big night on the debate stage
Hillary Clinton delivered a poised, polished performance in the campaign’s first Democratic presidential debate, firmly defending herself against claims that she flip flops for political gain and likely quelling nerves in her own party after a stumbling start.
Her confident demeanor on the debate stage in Las Vegas may also dampen speculation that there is a place in the race for Vice President Joe Biden, who is still agonizing over a decision about whether to mount a late presidential run.
Clinton produced a more convincing rationale for why she should be President than she has done so far, dismissing the idea she was motivated mainly by restoring the Clinton political machine. She argued she has the vision and experience to enforce change, and drew an analogy between her own relentless refusal to admit defeat with the resilience of America itself as the nation battles back after a tough recession.
“The issue is not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up,” Clinton said.
2. Five officers’ statements admissible in Baltimore death case
Statements by five Baltimore officers charged in the high-profile death of a black man injured in police custody were made admissible in their criminal trials on Tuesday.
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams found that Officer William Porter and Sergeant Alicia White, two of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, had made their statements without compulsion to internal investigators.
“Sergeant White had the opportunity to say no,” Williams said, ruling against defense motions to suppress the statements during a pretrial hearing.
Three of those charged – Lieutenant Brian Rice and Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero – also agreed to drop motions to suppress their statements.
Gray, 25, suffered a spinal cord injury after being arrested in April and transported in a police van. His death triggered protests and fueled a debate on police treatment of people of color.
3. After 52 years, SCOTUS may help set Henry Montgomery free
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court weighed the question of mandatory life sentences for minors, a case that could affect the approximately 2,000 offenders serving life sentences for crimes they committed before adulthood.
At the center of the case is the life sentence of Henry Montgomery, a black man who shot and killed white police officer Charles Hunt when Montgomery was 17.
Montgomery’s lawyers argued during his 1963 trial that their client had development disabilities that prevented him from fully understanding the consequences of his actions.
His initial death sentence was overturned by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1969—partially as a result of the racial hostility surrounding the first trial. Upon retrial, Montgomery automatically received the mandatory minimum for murder, life without parole.
In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life sentences for juveniles, without consideration of mitigating circumstances like developmental abilities, were unconstitutional.
4. Dutch report: Buk missile downed MH17 in Ukraine
A Russian-developed Buk missile detonated less than a yard away from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17’s cockpit, causing the plane to break up over eastern Ukraine so quickly that it is likely the nearly 300 people aboard “were barely able to comprehend the situation” before they perished, Dutch investigators said Tuesday.
The long-awaited findings by the Dutch Safety Board offered a chilling account of the devastation aboard the airliner that was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The report marks the latest stage of evidence gathering as investigators try to sort out what happened to the plane, whose flight path took it over the war-torn region.
The findings left unresolved the central question of responsibility, which became even murkier this week with conflicting reports from the missile’s manufacturer.
5. Sources: Ramsey to announce retirement today
The Daily News reports that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will announce his intention to retire at the end of the year during a news conference today at City Hall.
In an email Tuesday night, the Nutter administration alerted reporters to the fact that the mayor would make a “major public safety announcement” today, but offered no details.
Earlier this year, Ramsey seemed open to staying on as commissioner even after Mayor Nutter’s tenure ends in January.
“I feel pretty good,” he told the Daily News in March. “We’ve been through a lot, but I feel the department is making progress. Whenever people start to anticipate what may or may not occur, there’s not really a whole lot you can do other than focus on doing your job.
“This is my 47th year in policing, so obviously my time will come to an end at some point. But I still love it.”
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon