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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Judge Cannon is OUT OF CONTROL Now

Judge vacates murder conviction of man who spent 30 years in Missouri prison | Missouri | The Guardian

Judge vacates murder conviction of man who spent 30 years in Missouri prison

"Christopher Dunn, 52, is latest person released from a Missouri prison due to evidence of wrongful conviction

A man whispers into another man's ear.
Christopher Dunn, right, at a hearing to decide whether to vacate his murder conviction, on 21 May 2024 at the Carnahan courthouse in St Louis, Missouri. Photograph: Laurie Skrivan/AP

A Missouri judge on Monday overturned the conviction of Christopher Dunn, who has spent more than 30 years in prison for a killing he has long contended he didn’t commit.

The ruling is likely to free Dunn from prison, but it wasn’t immediately clear when that would happen. He has been serving a sentence of life without parole.

St Louis circuit judge Jason Sengheiser’s ruling came several weeks after he presided over a three-day hearing on Dunn’s fate.

Dunn, now 52, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1990 shooting of 15-year-old Ricco Rogers. St Louis circuit attorney Gabe Gore filed a motion in February seeking to vacate the guilty verdict, with a hearing in May.

Sengheiser’s ruling said that the “circuit attorney has made a clear and convincing showing of ‘actual innocence’ that undermines the basis for Dunn’s convictions – because in light of new evidence, no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find Dunn guilty of these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Dunn’s attorney, the Midwest Innocence Project’s executive director, Tricia Rojo Bushnell, said she was “overjoyed” by the judge’s ruling.

“Now, Chris looks forward to spending time with his wife and family as a free man,” Bushnell said in a statement.

The Missouri attorney general’s office opposed the effort to vacate Dunn’s conviction. Lawyers for the state said at the May hearing that initial testimony from two boys at the scene who identified Dunn as the shooter was correct, even though they later recanted as adults.

“That verdict was accurate, and that verdict should stand,” the assistant attorney general, Tristin Estep, said at the hearing.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the state would appeal. Messages left with the office of the attorney general, Andrew Bailey, were not immediately returned.

The decision in Dunn’s case came days after Sandra Hemme was freed from a western Missouri prison after serving 43 years for a murder that a judge determined she didn’t commit. Bailey’s office also opposed Hemme’s release.

A Missouri law adopted in 2021 lets prosecutors request hearings when they see evidence of a wrongful conviction. While Bailey’s office is not required to oppose such efforts, he also opposed another effort in St Louis that resulted in Lamar Johnson being freed last year after serving 28 years for a murder case in which a judge ruled he was wrongfully convicted.

Rogers was shot 18 May 1990 while he was with a group of other teenage boys outside a home. DeMorris Stepp, 14, and Michael Davis Jr, 12, both initially identified Dunn as the shooter.

In a recorded interview played at the hearing, Davis said he lied because he thought Dunn was affiliated with a rival gang.

Stepp’s story has changed a few times over the years, Gore said at the hearing. Most recently, he has said he did not see Dunn as the shooter. Gore said another judge previously found Stepp to be a “completely unreliable witness” and urged Sengheiser to discount him altogether.

Dunn has said he was at his mother’s home at the time of the shooting. Childhood friend Nicole Bailey testified that she spoke with him by phone that night and he was on a phone at his mother’s house.

Estep, the assistant attorney general, said that the alibi could not be trusted and Dunn’s story has shifted multiple times over the years. Dunn did not testify at the hearing.

The 2021 law has resulted in the the release of two men who each spent decades in prison. In addition to Johnson, Kevin Strickland was freed in 2021 after more than 40 years for three killings in Kansas City after a judge ruled he was wrongfully convicted in 1979.

Another hearing is in August for Marcellus Williams, who narrowly escaped lethal injection and is now facing another execution date after being convicted in the fatal stabbing of Lisha Gayle in 1998.

Prosecutors now say three experts determined that Williams’ DNA was not on the handle of the butcher knife used in the killing."

Judge vacates murder conviction of man who spent 30 years in Missouri prison | Missouri | The Guardian

Secret Service Director Cheatle resigns after shooting at Trump rally - The Washington Post

Secret Service Director Cheatle resigns in connection with Trump rally shooting

"Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle faced scrutiny after the attempted assassination of former president Donald Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle in June. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle resigned Tuesday in connection with the assassination attempt on former president Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a copy of a letter sent to agency staff obtained by The Washington Post.

“As your Director, I take full responsibility for the security lapse,” Cheatle wrote. “In light of recent events, it is with a heavy heart that, I have made the difficult decision to step down as your Director.”

The attack was the first against a U.S. leader on the elite protective agency’s watch in more than 40 years. Cheatle, a veteran Secret Service agent, had called the security failure involving a gunman shooting from an apparently unsecured roof at a Trump presidential campaign rally July 13 unacceptable and acknowledged that “the buck stops with me.”

She initially had said she would not resign and would cooperate with investigations into the shooting. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last week that he had “100 percent confidence” in her abilities as Secret Service director, and a spokeswoman for President Biden said he supported her as well.

At a House oversight hearing Monday Cheatle signaled that she hoped to stay on the job and believed she was the best person for the position. But several lawmakers in both parties disagreed, saying she failed to answer detailed questions about what went wrong at the Trump rally and had lost their confidence

Several Republican lawmakers called on Cheatle to step aside, saying they had lost confidence in her ability to lead the agency that safeguards U.S. and foreign leaders.

“Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle should resign immediately,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) wrote Monday on X.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for new leadership at the agency on Wednesday as Cheatle oversaw protective services at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

“Last week’s near-assassination of former President Trump was a grave attack on American democracy,” he wrote on X. “The nation deserves answers and accountability. New leadership at the Secret Service would be an important step in that direction.”

On Wednesday night, a group of Republicans furious over the assassination attempt trailed Cheatle through Fiserv Forum at the convention, demanding that she explain the security failures.

“This was an assassination attempt!” yelled Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, according to a video of the confrontation obtained by The Washington Post. “You owe the people answers! You owe President Trump answers!”

She and others expressed frustration that Cheatle did not answer their questions about the lapses.

“This is one of the greatest security failures in the history of the agency,” Blackburn said in a statement. “She can run but she cannot hide. She is a failed leader and she needs to immediately step down from her position.”

Trump, who has said he was struck by a bullet that “pierced” his right ear, wore a bandage over it as he attended the convention. The attack killed one man and gravely wounded two others.

The shooting was the first time in decades that a U.S. leader was attacked while under Secret Service protection. In 1981, a gunman fired at President Ronald Reagan in Washington, wounding the president and three others.

Top officials at the U.S. Secret Service repeatedly denied requests for additional personnel and equipment sought by Trump’s security detail in the two years leading up to the rally shooting in Pennsylvania, according to four people familiar with the requests.

Agents charged with protecting Trump requested magnetometers and more agents to screen attendees at large public gatherings he attended, as well as additional snipers and specialty teams at other outdoor events, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive security discussions. The requests were sometimes denied by senior officials at the agency who cited reasons including a lack of resources at an agency that has struggled with staffing shortages, they said.

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement Wednesday night that Cheatle would not resign.

Cheatle said after the shooting that the Secret Service is cooperating with multiple investigations into the shooting, including the criminal probe led by the FBI and an independent review ordered by Biden.

When Biden named Cheatle as his Secret Service director in 2022, some inside the agency opposed her appointment, according to a half-dozen written complaints Secret Service agents sent to The Post around that time and in the two years since.

In the complaints, her critics pointed to Cheatle’s lack of experience working in a senior post on a presidential protection detail — considered by many to be the pinnacle of agency service — and saying later in her tenure that she was excessively focused on hiring and promoting more women agents.

Cheatle’s handling of the shooting has further eroded support for her leadership inside the agency, according to a dozen current and former Secret Service officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution. Many agents and Secret Service alumni were disturbed by the failure to sufficiently secure the rooftop the gunman scaled, they said.

In addition, six of the former agents, all of whom have served in presidential protection details, told The Post that they found Cheatle’s public statements about security for the Butler, Pa., campaign event embarrassing.

They said they were particularly outraged by two comments she made in an interview with ABC News that aired days after the shooting.

First, she said local police were responsible for securing the Agr building on the outer perimeter of the event, implying they were to blame for the gunman getting atop the roof and being able to shoot at Trump’s stage. Second, she said no officer was stationed on the roof the gunman used in part because of a “safety factor” related to its slope. The Post previously reported that Secret Service countersnipers at the rally Saturday were positioned on steeper roofs.

“She’s lost the confidence of the service,” said one former agent who had defended her tenure until her comments to ABC News. “She can’t get it back now.”

Mayorkas said at a White House briefing Monday that the review of the rally shooting will examine what happened before, during and after. He said it will be led by people outside of the government, “so that no question of its independence can be raised.”

The Department of Homeland Security inspector general, an independent watchdog who monitors and audits the agency, is also investigating the shooting.

Leaders in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives also have called on Cheatle to testify publicly.

Her resignation caps a series of tumultuous years for the Secret Service, amid concerns that weak spots in the agency’s training, strategy and operations remain unresolved.

Before the shooting, the agency was scrutinized for deleting text messages that agents sent during Trump supporters’ Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, depriving investigators of potentially valuable evidence. The agency said the messages were lost during a planned replacement of the agents’ devices.

The agency has faced various security lapses through the years.

In November 2011 a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle fired shots into the White House. Agents at first dismissed the noises as a construction vehicle backfiring and did not realize for four days that bullets had hit the residence.

In 2012, the agency was embarrassed by agents who brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia, while arranging advance security for President Barack Obama’s visit to the city. In 2014, an armed security guard with an arrest record was allowed to share an elevator with Obama during a presidential visit to Atlanta.

Days later, a man carrying a folding knife jumped the fence outside the White House, sprinted past a Secret Service agent and made it into the East Room before being tackled by an agent.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, who in 2013 became the first woman to lead the agency, resigned in 2014.

A blue-ribbon panel named by the Obama administration in 2014 recommended sweeping changes to the agency, including intensifying training and calling for new leadership.

In 2015, the House Oversight Committee published a report finding that the Secret Service had fumbled its response to multiple security threats over several years.

After the shooting at the Trump rally, lawmakers and others expressed frustration that many of the called-for recommendations remained unimplemented.

Cheatle is the agency’s 27th director and the second woman to lead the agency. She was sworn in on Sept. 17, 2022.

Cheatle had spent more than 25 years in the Secret Service in various roles, including running the Atlanta office and then becoming assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations, the first woman in that role.

“That achievement in a male-dominated industry was not lost on me,” Cheatle said in a 2022 interview with Security magazine.

Cheatle served on Biden’s protective detail when he was vice president. Biden awarded Cheatle with a Presidential Rank Award in 2021 for her exceptional performance over time.

She left the agency that year to become a senior director managing global security at PepsiCo North America, and returned in 2022 at Biden’s request.

When he asked her to return to lead the agency, Biden said in a statement that she had exceptional leadership abilities and “has my complete trust.”

Josh Dawsey and Nick Miroff contributed to this report."

Secret Service Director Cheatle resigns after shooting at Trump rally - The Washington Post

Sunday, July 21, 2024

BREAKING: Appeals Court STRIKES DOWN Judge Aileen Cannon Jurisdiction in...

Racism in the Indian Community

Republicans are silent on gun control a week after Trump rally shooting | Republicans | The Guardian

Republicans are silent on gun control a week after Trump rally shooting

"Reagan’s assassination attempt led to bipartisan support for reforms. Now, the GOP will probably focus on security instead

a man with a bandage on his ear talks to an audience in front of an image of himself taking cover from a gunman
Donald Trump describes the assassination attempt during a speech at the Republican national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Thursday. Photograph: Joeff Davis/Rex/Shutterstock

More than a week after the attempted assassination of Donald Trump with an assault weapon, his political supporters and fellow members of the Republican party have remained silent on the issue of tightening America’s notoriously lax gun control laws.

That intransigence plays out against the backdrop of a US election that was already deeply marred by fears of political violence and the possibility of civil unrest before a 20-year-old gunman fired a AR-15-style rifle at the former president, injuring him and two others and killing one rally-goer at an event in Pennsylvania.

Opposition to almost any form of gun law reform, such as a ban on assault weapons, has become a modern-day litmus test for Republicans seeking public office, according to experts in the field. The week since the shooting has seen no meaningful statements on gun control from Republican figures.

“The Republican party is dead set against any new gun reform, and any Republican that opposes that view is subject to a primary challenge,” said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and gun rights expert.

That marks a change from the aftermath of previous assassinations, or assassination attempts, of people like former US president Ronald Reagan, when lawmakers from both parties approved legislation to tighten gun laws.

After John Hinckley Jr shot Reagan and three others, including the president’s press secretary, James Brady, in 1981, Brady and his wife, Sarah, spearheaded a successful effort to establish a federal background check system for prospective gun purchasers, which federally licensed dealers were eventually required to use. Reagan, a Republican, expressed support for the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and former president Bill Clinton signed it into law in 1993.

Clinton also approved a Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 with significant bipartisan support, including from Reagan and some congressional Republicans.

But to gain their support, lawmakers limited the ban to 10 years, and Republicans allowed it to expire in 2004.

Thomas Matthew Crooks attempted to kill Trump at a campaign rally on 13 July in Pennsylvania with an assault weapon, an AR-15-style rifle, which has been used at many mass shootings in recent decades, including in 2012 at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut and in 2017 at a music festival in Las Vegas.

Gun control groups like Brady: United Against Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have since advocated for a ban on assault weapons, but Republican lawmakers have opposed those efforts.

Winkler and other experts do not expect that Republican intransigence to change despite Trump’s popularity.

“If the shooting of 20 kindergarten students” at Sandy Hook “doesn’t prompt reconsideration of gun safety reform, then it’s not clear what will, and I think that from the perspective of conservatives, the answer is typically: more guns,” Winkler said.

The National Rifle Association, which has led efforts to oppose gun reform, declined an interview request, but a spokesperson said in a statement, “Given what information has been shared thus far, there isn’t a single gun control law that could have prevented this heinous and cowardly attack – including so-called ‘universal’ background checks. But, as we all know, that will not stop the gun control lobby and their allies from engaging in the usual calls for gun control.”

A senior Trump campaign adviser also told Reuters that if the Republican is elected, “we’ll see a continuation of supporting and defending the second amendment”.

Kris Brown, president of the Brady campaign, disagrees with the NRA’s assertion that stricter gun laws, like an assault weapons ban, could not have prevented the shooting at the Trump rally.

Crooks “chose this weapon because he was sitting on top of a building that was” about 400ft away “and the only way he would have made that shot that injured the president, that killed someone else, that injured another person, is with an assault-style weapon. So by definition, if we had an assault ban in effect, yeah, that could have made a difference”, Brown said.

Joshua Horwitz, a professor in gun violence prevention and advocacy at Johns Hopkins University, expects that Republicans in Congress will focus on the Secret Service and questions about how the shooter was allowed to get so close to Trump rather than a discussion about the weapon used.

“The Republicans in the US House are not going to hold hearings on banning assault weapons,” Horwitz said.

Interestingly, the Republican National Committee platform, which was released about a week before the assassination attempt, mentions defending “the right to keep and bear arms” in a preamble but otherwise makes no mention of gun policy.

That is the first time the party has not included firearms issues in its platform since the 1970s, according to Robert Spitzer, an adjunct professor at William & Mary Law School who has studied gun policy for decades.

But Spitzer does not see that as an indication of a new openness to strengthening gun laws.

“I think it’s purely pragmatic on Trump’s part to avoid controversial issues that might cut into support he would otherwise get,” Spitzer said.

Still, gun control advocates have made progress at the state level. In recent years, states such as Illinois and Delaware have passed bans on assault weapons. Nine states now prohibit the purchase and possession of such weapons, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group.

In 2022, the federal government also passed legislation with support from Democrats and some Republicans that included measures to expand background checks on people between the ages of 18 and 21 seeking to buy a gun and provided incentives for states to pass red flag laws, which allow people to petition for the temporary confiscation of an individual’s firearms if that person is considered a risk to themself or others.

“There’s a clear plan for building a strong gun-violence-prevention infrastructure and passing legislation and changing policies” and spending more money on “community violence intervention, so I’m optimistic about a lot of where the movement is going”, Horwitz said. “I guess I would say I’m pessimistic that this particular shooting is going to change the debate.”

Republicans are silent on gun control a week after Trump rally shooting | Republicans | The Guardian

For Biden, a Decision to Step Aside Would Raise Another Question - The New York Times

For Biden, a Decision to Step Aside Would Raise Another Question

"As President Biden grapples with the possibility of dropping his bid for re-election, a secondary question looms: Should he endorse his own vice president as the nominee?

Vice President Kamala Harris waving from the boarding stairs of Air Force Two. She is wearing a beige pantsuit with a black top.
Vice President Kamala Harris boarding Air Force Two in North Carolina on Thursday. Her supporters argue that denying her the Democratic nomination, should President Biden step aside, would reek of sexism and racism.Erin Schaff/The New York Times

President Biden has been saying some awfully nice things about Vice President Kamala Harris lately. “She’s not only a great vice president,” he told the audience at an N.A.A.C.P. convention last week. “She could be president of the United States.”

That, of course, is the point. She could. But will she? And most critically, perhaps, would Mr. Biden want her to be?

Even as the president confronts the agonizing decision of whether to drop his bid for a second term, he faces a second momentous choice if he does: Should he endorse his own vice president, effectively anointing her as the party’s nominee, or open the door to a short, intense contest to be decided weeks from now by Democratic convention delegates?

The question has absorbed Democratic politicians and strategists almost as much as the debate over whether he should step aside, a question framed largely through the lens of how they feel about Ms. Harris. Her supporters argue that she has earned the right to step in and that denying her would reek of sexism and racism. Her skeptics worry that she could not win in November and hope that a competition would surface a nominee with broader appeal.

The issue was infused with new urgency by reports that Representative Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker who has been privately warning that Mr. Biden cannot beat former President Donald J. Trump, had told fellow members of her California delegation that she favored an open competition if the president did not run. While she considers herself a friend of Ms. Harris, Ms. Pelosi argued that the vice president would be strengthened by a contest.

“Most Democrats think it should be an open process,” former Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, said on Saturday. “What I would say is the best thing is for Kamala Harris is to win a contested convention fight because it would legitimize her candidacy. If it’s a backroom deal, you haven’t earned it and people want you to earn it. And once you earn it you get a huge bounce.”

But Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis of California, a Democratic ally of Ms. Harris, said the vice president had already gone through an open process as Mr. Biden’s running mate.

“During the Democratic primaries, voters across the country voted overwhelmingly for a Biden-Harris ticket,” she said. “So if Biden steps down, it is very hard to imagine a justification for delegates to choose anyone other than Vice President Harris.”

Vice President Kamala Harris speaking at a recent town hall in Philadelphia. Skeptics have voiced concerns that she might not be able to win the general election.Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Historically, it has not been a given that a president automatically endorses his vice president to succeed him. Harry S. Truman recruited another candidate to supplant his own vice president. Dwight D. Eisenhower said he needed a week to even think of any important contribution Richard M. Nixon had made as his No. 2. Lyndon B. Johnson did not endorse Hubert Humphrey until weeks before the general election.

Ronald Reagan stayed officially neutral during the primaries, endorsing George H.W. Bush only once he had secured the nomination, while Bill Clinton supported Al Gore even though his vice president kept a distance because of the scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. Perhaps most relevant, Barack Obama threw his support to Hillary Clinton to succeed him, discouraging Mr. Biden, his onetime running mate, from entering the race. Mr. Biden has not forgotten that, but whether that searing experience makes him more or less willing to endorse his own vice president is unclear.

Either way, this situation is different from any of those past moments. The primaries are over and the convention is just around the corner, scheduled for Aug. 19 to Aug. 22 in Chicago. The party is planning to formally nominate its candidate even earlier than that, through a virtual roll call to be completed by Aug. 7 because of concerns about access to the November ballot in Ohio. There are only about 10 days until the convention ballots are sent out.

If Mr. Biden does pull out, the question of a nominee could still be pushed to the convention itself, but the various Democratic governors who are seen as possible rivals to Ms. Harris would have precious little time to organize and secure enough signatures to even be considered.

People close to the president have said they assume that he would endorse her if it came down to it, if for no other reason than it would be the simplest way to manage an otherwise messy last-minute transition to a new nominee. Because her name is on the Biden-Harris campaign organization, she has a better claim to inheriting the apparatus and war chest.

But that is not guaranteed, and the uncertainty speaks to the complicated relationship between Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris. Aides to both insist that they genuinely admire and respect each other, but like most presidents and vice presidents, they are not close and they sometimes have divergent interests.

Mr. Biden for a time was not convinced that she could win if he did drop out, and his allies cited doubts about her electability to other Democrats to rally support for him to stay on the ticket, an argument she found denigrating and irritating — perhaps one reason he has been saying those nice things about her in public lately.

In recent days, according to people close to him, Mr. Biden has been increasingly asking if Ms. Harris could win after all, seeming more open to the possibility. Several public polls have shown that contrary to the conventional wisdom of a month ago, she runs about as strongly against Mr. Trump as Mr. Biden does and, in some surveys, slightly stronger, all without the opportunity yet to introduce herself as a would-be nominee.

“To some degree, the vice president is auditioning now for the job and they should help her lean in and I think her leaning in could be beneficial to bolstering Biden” whether he steps aside or not, said Ashley Etienne, a former Harris aide.

While stressing that she was not calling for the president to withdraw, Ms. Etienne said that if he did, Ms. Harris would be best prepared to step in because she has been sitting next to him in the Oval Office and Situation Room, deeply immersed in the domestic and foreign issues of the last four years.

Moreover, Ms. Etienne argued, Ms. Harris partially owns the record Mr. Biden is already running on. “The question is, why would you discard that person?” she asked. “And no one has an answer for that because it’s nonsensical.”

The question of Ms. Harris’s fate could polarize the party along racial lines. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other Black leaders have strongly supported Mr. Biden staying in the race but simultaneously have warned the party not to try to displace Ms. Harris if the president were to drop out.

Ms. Harris and President Biden attending a campaign event for the launch of Black Voters for Biden-Harris at Girard College in Philadelphia in May. Black leaders have warned against displacing Ms. Harris if the president drops out.Yuri Gripas for The New York Times

“The danger is the perception that many would have around the country, if she’s being held to a different standard about whether she would be ready,” the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader, said in a recent interview. “I would be adamantly against a process that disregarded the fact that he chose her to take over in case something occurred.”

Other Democrats said there would be a backlash if the nomination were simply handed to Ms. Harris. “I don’t think we can do a coronation,” Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, who has called on Mr. Biden to drop out, said on MSNBC. “Kind of a mini-primary, maybe a vetting hosted by former presidents, including Obama and Clinton, would be helpful.”

A truncated competition for the backing of the roughly 4,000 delegates who are permitted to vote on the first ballot would be the first time in more than half a century that a convention would determine a major party nominee without the results of primary elections. And it would test the party structure in a way that some leaders fear may not be manageable.

At the end of the day, Elaine C. Kamarck, a member of the Democratic National Committee and former aide to Mr. Gore, said the whole debate should be recognized as academic. It is, she said, simply too late to stage any kind of open contest. “Open would have been fine even a month ago,” she said. “But we’ve plumb run out of time.”

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent for The Times. He has covered the last five presidents and sometimes writes analytical pieces that place presidents and their administrations in a larger context and historical framework. More about Peter Baker"

For Biden, a Decision to Step Aside Would Raise Another Question - The New York Times