8 minutes and 46 seconds
The trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, officially began this week. During the opening statements the prosecutors played the video of Floyd’s death. Floyd’s family and lawyers knelt in front of the courthouse for 8 minutes and 46 seconds which corresponds to the amount of the Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck before his death. Yesterday, saw opening statements and the state’s first three witnesses testified: a 911 dispatcher who saw live video of Floyd’s arrest; A former high school and college wrestler who tried to intervene during Floyd’s fatal encounter with police; and a former employee at the Speedway gas station across the street from Cup Foods. The defense is making the argument that “Floyd died of cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension and coronary disease, and that the ingestion of drugs and the adrenaline in his body “all acted to further compromise an already compromised heart.” CBS News: Testimony begins in trial of Derek Chauvin, former officer charged in George Floyd’s death Well this is going to be tough to follow. Just reading the defense’s argument makes my skin crawl. Testimony continues today and the trial is expected to last four weeks.
“The Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously ruled this week that Francios Momolu Khalil, 24, cannot be found guilty of rape because the woman got drunk voluntarily beforehand. The decision Wednesday overturned Khalil’s prior conviction of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which had been upheld by an appeals court, and granted him the right to a new trial.” WaPo: A Minnesota man can’t be charged with felony rape because the woman chose to drink beforehand, court rules. Under Minnesota law, a person is considered mentally incapacitated and cannot consent to sex if they were given a substance unknowingly. In this case, because the woman willingly drank vodka before passing out she cannot under this law be deemed mentally incapacitated and thus unable to give consent. Of course this ruling is causing outrage and concern about other similar cases. Minnesota’s State House is considering a bill to change this rule. Let’s hope they can get that done. This is unacceptable. Even more appalling is that there are similar laws in 40 other states.
Let’s Do Some Harm
“Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed into law legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat someone because of religious or moral objections, a move opponents have said will give providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others. The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience. Opponents, including the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union, have said it will allow doctors to refuse to offer a host of services for LGBTQ patients. The state Chamber of Commerce also opposed the measure, saying it sends the wrong message about the state.” AP News: Arkansas governor signs medical conscience objections law Or perhaps it sends the right message about the state. They are bigots that make space for other bigots? This bill means that pharmacists can refuse to fill birth control or PrEP prescriptions; Doctors can reject giving hormone treatments or performing gender reassignment surgeries; and counselors can decline therapy to a same-sex couple among other things. The Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU and the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce say this targets an already vulnerable group of people that already face discriminiation in health care. This is very dangerous and will cost lives. Why would a person choose a career where they should be required to help everyone regardless of their personal beliefs and try to impose their will on others. If you can’t understand that a person seeking counseling or medications for their mental and physical well being should receive that service, you should have a new career and a new “conscience.” FYI: Last week, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, also signed a law banning transgener women and girls from playing on women’s sports teams.