· Tragedy struck the film set of "Rust" Thursday when star Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun in an accident that left the cinematographer dead and the director injured. An assistant director unwittingly handed Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set, court records released Friday show. Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded. Legal experts find it unlikely that Alec Baldwin will face criminal charges due to unknowingly firing a live weapon that he was told was not loaded. However, due to the lengthy process of deeming the weapon as an unloaded prop, those involved in this process could face negligence or manslaughter charges depending on the magnitude of their involvement and/or knowledge. The production company for the movie may also be held liable for not following safety guidelines and might also face corporate negligence charges which typically only result in a large fine with no jail time. However, according to legal experts, law enforcement's investigation into the incident needs to yield more details before questions about liability and criminal charges can be answered with certainty. But here are some things they say to expect.
· Maine residents are deciding on whether a right to food is a state constitutional right. Depending on whom you ask, Maine’s proposed “right to food” constitutional amendment would simply put people in charge of how and what they eat or would endanger animals and food supplies and turn urban neighborhoods into cattle pastures. Depending on whom you ask, Maine’s proposed “right to food” constitutional amendment would simply put people in charge of how and what they eat — or would endanger animals and food supplies and turn urban neighborhoods into cattle pastures. For supporters, the language is short and to the point, ensuring the right to grow vegetables and raise livestock in an era when corporatization threatens local ownership of the food supply, a constitutional experiment that has never been tried in any state. For opponents like the Maine Farm Bureau, the proposition is deceptively vague, representing a threat to food safety and animal welfare, and could embolden residents to raise cows in their backyards in cities like Portland and Bangor. In the Nov. 2 election, voters will be asked if they favor an amendment to the Maine Constitution “to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health, and well-being.”
· The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on Nov. 1 a challenge to a Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on the procedure and lets private citizens enforce it - a case that could dramatically curtail abortion access in the United States if the justices endorse the measure's unique design. The justices took up requests by President Joe Biden's administration and abortion providers to immediately review their challenges to the law. The court, which on Sept. 1 allowed the law to go into effect, declined to act on the Justice Department's request to immediately block enforcement of the measure. The Texas measure takes enforcement out of the hands of state officials, instead of enabling private citizens to sue anyone who performs or assists a woman in getting an abortion after the cardiac activity is detected in the embryo. The Texas dispute is the second major abortion case that the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has scheduled for the coming months, with arguments set for Dec. 1 over the legality of a restrictive Mississippi abortion law. Rulings in Texas and Mississippi cases are due by the end of next June but could come sooner.
Will Alec Baldwin face charges? Legal experts discuss prop gun tragedy (usatoday.com)
Is there a constitutional right to food? Mainers to decide - ABC News (go.com)
U.S. Supreme Court takes up Texas abortion case, lets ban remain | Reuters