Biden South Carolina

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the first South Carolina rally of his 2020 presidential campaign in Columbia on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Daniel Hare/Special to The Post and Courier

Biden Leads, Buttigieg, Warren Surge in P&C Poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden still holds a commanding lead, but U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg have gained ground in the latest poll in the Democratic presidential primary from The Post and Courier and Change Research. According to Andy Shain at The Post and Courier, Biden is polling at 37 percent, which is down from a mid-May poll, shortly after he formally announced his campaign, in which he was polling at 46 percent. Warren is polling behind Biden at 17 percent, up sharply from the May Post and Courier- Change Research poll, where she was in fifth place at 8 percent. Buttigieg currently is polling in third, at 11 percent, which is up from the May poll in which he was in fourth and at 8 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders slipped in the paper’s most recent poll, falling from 15 percent to 9 percent since May. The South Carolina Democratic primary is Feb. 29, 2020.

Lexington County Man Gets Death Penalty in Child Slayings

Timothy Jones Jr., the Lexington County man who killed his five children in 2014, has been sentenced to death after a five-week trial. A jury handed down the sentence despite pleas from Jones’ family members that his life be spared. Defense attorneys pushed for Jones to instead receive life in prison. As noted by Seanna Adcox at The Post and Courier, it will likely be quite a while before Jones is executed. “Judge Eugene Griffith officially ordered Jones put to death on Nov. 30, as per the timing set in state law,” Adcox reported. “But that won’t happen. Years, perhaps decades, worth of appeals are expected. South Carolina also currently lacks the ability to carry out an execution unless an inmate chooses to die by electrocution. Drug companies will no longer supply states with what’s needed for lethal injections.” Jones’ children ranged in age from 1 to 8. After killing them, he placed their bodies in garbage bags and drove them around the South, eventually dumping the bodies along a road in Alabama.

Alan Wilson Defends Gun Silencers

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined with legal officers from several red states to ask the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Second Amendment in a Kansas case involving gun silencers. According to The Post and Courier, in the Kansas case the owner of a of a military surplus store was convicted of making a silencer, and a customer was convicted of possessing one. The National Firearms Act requires that a person go through an extensive background check to get a silencer. “The pair was given probation [in the Kansas case], and lower courts upheld their convictions, contending, in essence, that silencers are outside of the wider coverage assured by the Second Amendment,” The Post and Courier reports. Wilson says that’s a slippery slope. “The bottom line is, if the Second Amendment does not apply to suppressors because they are accessories, a future court could say the same for ammunition because it is an accessory,” Wilson said.

Activists Worried About Atomic Bomb Plant

Anti-nuclear activists are concerned about the ramifications of a proposed plutonium pit factory in South Carolina. According to Sammy Fretwell at The State, the federal government is pitching a multi-billion plutonium factory at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, a prospect that could create up to 1,700 jobs. Plutonium is a critical ingredient in atomic bombs. “Federal records show the new SRS plant would produce at least 50 pits for nuclear weapons each year,” the paper reports. The government is proposing converting its failed MOX plant at the Savannah River Site for the plutonium pit plant. “It will be a great waste of taxpayer’s money,’’ anti-nuclear activist Jay Coghlan told The State. “There also is a long history of chronic safety problems and environmental or waste problems associated with pit production.’’

Two Arrested After Confederate Monument Vandalized

Two people were charged after allegedly vandalizing a Confederate monument in Charleston. Police charged Charleston’s Charles Dennis Chandler, 23, and Goose Creek’s Kayleigh Nicole Roberts 29, with damage to real property after they reportedly splashed the Confederate Defenders monument with a “red paint-like substance.” WCSC reports that the suspects were arrested a short distance away after being identified by witnesses.

Correction

The June 12 story “Emanuel is a Moving — if Myopic — Look at a South Carolina Tragedy” incorrectly identified the survivor Dylann Roof intentionally left alive during the 2015 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The survivor was Polly Sheppard. Free Times apologizes for the error.

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