What to Know Today
Jury recommends Parkland shooter be sentenced to life without parole, rejects death penalty. On Thursday, a Florida jury ruled that the gunman who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 should not be put to death, the Miami Herald reported. The defendant pleaded guilty last year to 17 counts of first-degree murder. In order for him to receive the death penalty, the jury would have needed to unanimously agree on the sentence for at least one of the victims. The defense argued that the shooter should be spared because his brain was damaged before birth. Aftermath: Revisit The Trace’s 2019 series Since Parkland, in which teen journalists across the country documented the lives of young people killed after the mass shooting.
Killings of transgender people rose 93 percent in four years. Nearly three-quarters of deaths were gun homicides. A new analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety showed that known killings of trans people nearly doubled between 2017 and 2021, ABC News reports. Black trans women were disproportionately killed during this period: Although Black people make up only an estimated 13 percent of the transgender population, 73 percent of tracked trans homicide victims were Black women. Barrier to accuracy: As The Trace’s Chip Brownlee has noted, deaths of trans people often go unreported or misreported because the victims may be misgendered or deadnamed by law enforcement, media reports, or next of kin. [Everytown provides grants to The Trace through its nonpolitical arm. Here’s our list of major donors and our policy on editorial independence.]
Self-identified “incel” pleads guilty for planned “slaughter” of women. After admitting that he planned a mass shooting of women at an Ohio university, 22-year-old Tres Genco pleaded guilty to attempting a hate crime, NPR reports. Genco — part of the extremist, misogynistic “involuntary celibate” movement, a community of men who express violent rhetoric toward women — conducted surveillance at the university in January 2020 and, on the same day, searched online for topics like “when does preparing for a crime become an attempt?” and “planning a shooting crime,” according to the Justice Department. Genco had expressed admiration for another self-described incel who killed six people in Isla Vista, California in 2014. When easy access to guns mixes with violent misogyny: Since the Isla Vista shooter’s rampage, the gunman has been venerated by other incels and inspired similar attacks, The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia wrote in 2019.
Local governments allocated American Rescue Plan funds to the criminal justice system. The American Rescue Plan provides local governments wide swaths of funding — and wide latitude to decide where that money goes. The Marshall Project profiled how one Missouri town spent $2 million on the police department, allocating funds for sniper rifles and police bonuses. That town isn’t alone: Local authorities nationwide are using the federal funds on policing. And researchers have found that many state and local governments that have allocated funds for “community violence intervention” are actually spending that money on traditional policing.
After “Rust” shooting, film and TV industry may change how guns are used on set. An industrywide labor management committee, The Los Angeles Times reports, is weighing revisions to the rules that dictate how firearms are used during filming. The potential changes come after actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico movie set of “Rust” last fall. Baldwin used a prop gun that was loaded with live ammunition; among the proposed revisions is a requirement that armorers be present when weapons are given to actors.
Jennifer Carlson, sociologist who studies gun culture, named MacArthur Fellow. Carlson, a sociologist at the University of Arizona, has probed the role of the National Rifle Association in developing the idea that firearm ownership is an indication of good citizenship and the view of guns as a safety net. She has also examined the intersection of the politics of race, law enforcement, and gun regulation. Carlson’s MacArthur fellowship was announced Wednesday.
35 percent — the increase in gun thefts associated with a state passing a right-to-carry law [Center for American Progress]