The questions distort Jackson’s position on the crime


Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson faced a variety of questions this week during confirmation hearings. A question about sentencing seems to take his past statements out of context.

“There were 1,561 people held in the DC Department of Corrections… I’ll quote you, every criminal defendant held by the DC Department of Corrections should be released due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said during Wednesday’s hearing.

But that was a distortion of Jackson’s opinion, according to the Associated Press.

At the start of the pandemic, 40 inmates in Washington tested positive for COVID-19. In April 2020, while serving as a U.S. District Court judge, Jackson wrote that the “increased risk of harm” in correctional facilities might “reasonably suggest that every defendant who is currently in the custody of DC (Department of Corrections) – and who therefore cannot take independent action to control their own hygiene and distance themselves from others – must be released.”

However, she went on to say that the courts should decide on a case-by-case basis within “the precepts of the law”.

In fact, it only ruled on one case, and not on the case of 1,561 detainees. Jackson ultimately determined that the defendant should not be returned to house arrest because he was young, in good health, and, because of the violent crimes he had committed, a danger to society.

On Wednesday, Jackson said in her decision that she wanted to note the circumstances of the pandemic before making her decision, “in which I said, we’re not releasing everyone. We’re not opening up jails.” .


Congress didn’t get a pay rise

President Joe Biden recently signed a $1.5 trillion spending bill to fund national programs this year. But some social media users apparently didn’t get the plan.

The headline “Congress Just Gave Itself a 21% Raise Because Americans Can’t Afford Gas” has been shared and liked more than 1,400 times.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “What did Congress do to deserve a 21% raise?”

But these claims are false, according to USA Today. There is nothing in the bill about increasing the salaries of members of Congress.

There is, however, a 21% increase in representation allowance for members of Congress. The allowance is for “official and representative functions”, including travel, rent, printing and supplies. The fund should not be used for social events or political and personal expenses.

As of 2009, Congress’s annual salary is $174,000. The Speaker of the House’s annual salary is $223,500, and Majority and Minority Leaders earn $193,400.

The video is not from the crash of a Chinese plane

A video making the rounds on social media is believed to be from the crash of a China Eastern Airlines plane early last week with 132 people on board. No survivors were found.

“As seen in close-up footage of the crash, the aircraft’s vertical (tail) stabilizer had been detached,” read a Facebook post that has been shared over 1,900 times.

Another post claims the clip is “surveillance video of a mining area released on the internet showed the plane dove vertically to the ground with no lift.”

But that video is mislabeled, according to Reuters. The footage predates the March 21 crash.

The clip is actually an animation of the crash of SilkAir flight MI185 in 1997. The video was created for the National Geographic series “Air Crash Investigation”. It was used in Season 12 Episode 4, titled “Mayday 12: Pushed To The Limit”, which aired August 24, 2012.

No gas boycott in 1997

As gas prices have continued to rise, some social media users say they have an idea to cut the cost.

“In April 1997, there was a nationwide ‘gas blackout’ to protest gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents per gallon overnight,” a declared an article. “Don’t pump gas on April 15, 2022!”

But there is no evidence that there was a boycott or a 30-cent drop in gas prices in 1997, according to PolitiFact. The “gas out” hoax has been online for years.

Gas prices in April 1997 fluctuated only slightly, ranging from $1.195 to $1.203 per gallon.

Boycotting gasoline for a day could lead to a slight drop in prices, AAA spokesperson Devin Gladden told PolitiFact.

“However, a one-day event is likely to have limited impact as longer-term trends could still cause prices to continue moving in that direction,” he said.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at [email protected]


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