7 Things: Trump’s enemies strike out again, no prison deal likely next session, Birmingham has a major illegal gun issue and more …
7. Redistricting data could be released soon
- 2020 U.S. Census redistricting data could be released by August 16 after the U.S. Census Bureau said it’s on schedule to release the numbers. This will be used to redraw congressional and legislative districts.
- This was announced after federal judges denied Alabama’s request to prevent the Census Bureau from keeping people’s information private through a statistical method. Alabama has argued that this method would cause some of the data to be inaccurate and is an unconstitutional method.
6. Sure, let’s keep bringing the Tuskegee experiment up
- There’s a new ad campaign in Alabama to encourage people to get the coronavirus vaccine. The campaign includes relatives of men who were forced into the Tuskegee experiment. Omar Neal and the nephew of Freddie Lee Tyson, who was part of the Tuskegee experiment, appear in the ad.
- Neal said that he “didn’t want people to use Tuskegee and what transpired there as a reason for not taking the vaccine.” Other family members of Tyson are also involved in the ad campaign, including his daughter Lillie Tyson Head, who says in one of the ads, “Don’t deny ourselves the opportunity the men were denied.”
5. U.S. Capitol rioter from Alabama pleads guilty
- Mark Grods, 54, an Alabama-based “Oath Keeper” who was involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the Justice Department.
- Grods is the second person affiliated with the Oath Keepers to admit to participating in a half-cocked conspiracy to attempt to block the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory and also agree to help prosecutors. He was looking at five years in prison but is expected to get less time for cooperating.
4. Bill Cosby is still guilty
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to overturn Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and he has been released as a free man. This decision was made after it was shown that the prosecutor was still under an agreement made by his predecessor not to bring charges against Cosby.
- Although there was no written evidence of this promise not to charge Cosby, the Supreme Court proceeded with their decision. The testimony Cosby previously gave that was potentially incriminating was in a civil case. The court ultimately said that releasing Cosby “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”
3. Birmingham has seized 1,405 guns, the mayor wants more policing
- In 2021 alone, the Birmingham Police Department reported that they’ve already seized 1,405 illegal guns. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced added that 126 of these guns were seized in the last 14 days.
- Woodfin said in an announcement that what most people “want is more police presence,” adding that with the city’s budget, their main priority and “biggest challenge is public safety.”
2. Prison plan likely won’t make it through the next session
- Recently, State Representative Steve McMillan (R-Foley) discussed the idea of the state legislature passing anything related to a prison plan next session, and he seemed much less than hopeful considering it’s an election year.
- McMillan said the prison issue is “going to take some tough negotiations, and I think it’s going to be a mountain too high to climb during an election year.”
1. They didn’t get Trump after all
- After a prosecutor ran on indicting the former President of the United States, after going to the Supreme Court to get his tax returns, after empaneling a grand jury and after leaking that indictments of big players were coming, Donald Trump’s enemies strike out again. According to news reports, the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer have been charged, with the specific charges unknown at this time.
- The charges are expected to be related to CFO Allen Weisselberg and others receiving perks and benefits, including rent-free apartments and leased cars, and then not reporting them on their tax returns. This has got to be a letdown for the people who were convinced that they really had Trump this time.