Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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Justifiable Homicides Up 200 Percent in Florida Post-Stand Your Ground

| Mon Sep. 16, 2013 12:36 PM PDT

Justifiable homicides increased by an average of 53-percent since 2005 in the 22 states that have passed stand-your-ground laws—while falling in the rest of the country—according to a new report from the National Urban League* and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a pro-gun-control organization helmed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. In Florida, where the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman first thrust the laws into the national spotlight last spring, the increase in justifiable homicides was even higher—200 percent.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

The report was released on Monday, in advance of Tuesday's Senate judiciary committee hearing on stand your ground laws. Martin's mother, Sabrina Fulton, is scheduled to testify at the hearing.

The report also highlights stark racial disparities. In instances where an older white man shot a younger black man, a court was likely to rule the case a justifiable homicide 49 percent of the time. When an older black man shot a younger white man, there was just an 8-percent chance it would be ruled justifiable.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

This isn't the first time Florida's racial disparities have been brought to light. After the Martin shooting, Republican Gov. Rick Scott created a special panel to put study the effects of the law. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, it reported back that the law was working—a finding the state government seems more than happy to abide by.

*Correction: This post originally identified the report as being produced by the Urban Institute.

Ken Cuccinelli Denies Rumors He's Distancing Himself From Running Mate Who Thinks Yoga Leads to Satan

| Mon Sep. 16, 2013 9:38 AM PDT
Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli (R).

Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli just can't quit E.W. Jackson. When Jackson, a conservative activist and minister, won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Virginia, his running mate Cuccinelli made a point of keeping his distance. Each candidate, he emphasized, should be considered "on an individual basis." The reasons why were obvious: Jackson, a conservative activist and minister, got his start fighting AIDS prevention efforts during the height of the AIDS epidemic, wrote a book about how yoga is a gateway to Satan and rap music and death metal are "eggs of destruction," and, more recently, expressed his adult opinion that gays are "ikky."

But now, as the race enters its home stretch, whatever divide there was between the two arch-conservative candidates is more or less gone. Per the Washington Post:

Cuccinelli, the sitting attorney general, and Jackson, a Chesapeake minister, sounded a message of unity and cooperation at a breakfast event Saturday near Roanoke. State Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), who is running for attorney general, also attended.

"Would you please greet a man who I have the utmost faith in and honor for," Jackson said as he introduced Cuccinelli, according to audio posted on YouTube. "We are friends. We are working together. Don't believe the rumors. We're working together."

Cuccinelli told the audience, "It's great to be here with the whole ticket. As E.W. said, we're running together. We're running hard."

One reason for the reunion may just be that there's not too much of a difference between the two social conservative politicians. Cuccinelli, who recently launched a website to defend the state's anti-sodomy law, has come under fire from Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe more recently for his opposition to no-fault divorce. And as a state senator, he launched a personal investigation into a so-called "Sextravaganza" at George Mason University that he feared would promote "libertine behavior."

Rand Paul Slams John McCain Over...MoJo Map?

| Fri Sep. 13, 2013 9:04 AM PDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Last week my colleague Tasneem Raja and I published a map highlighting Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's long, loud history of proposing American military interventions in foreign countries. (His 2000 "rogue-state rollback" strategy, for instance, called for American-backed regime change in North Korea, Iraq, and Libya.) Apparently, it struck a nerve with McCain's colleagues. On Friday, in an interview with Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of the party's loudest anti-war voices, highlighted our guide while taking a dig at McCain's push for military intervention in Syria:

"There was a funny article the other day in Mother Jones—did you see it? About one of my colleagues?" he asked.

He was trying to do the polite, senatorial thing by not mentioning his "colleague" by name. But when his vague prompt was met with a blank look during an interview with BuzzFeed, he scrapped the pretense of diplomacy and charged forward.

"It ranked the different countries on how eager Sen. [John] McCain wanted to be involved [militarily]," he explained, not even attempting to contain his amusement. "So, like, for getting involved in Syria, there's five Angry McCains. For getting involved in the Sudan, there's two Angry McCains. And there's a little picture of him. You know, he was for getting involved to support [former Libyan president Muammar] Gaddafi before he was for overthrowing Gaddafi. He was for supporting [former Egyptian president Hosni] Mubarak before he was for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood before he was for supporting the generals."

You can read Coppins' full piece here.

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