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Legal Fallout Begins In the Wake of the Amy Bishop Shootings at UAH

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Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

The president of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has announced that he will step down on April 1, and some members of the university community expressed surprise.

UAH was the site of fatal shootings in February 2010, and no one who has followed the aftermath of that tragic day should be surprised at President David Williams' exit. In fact, we suspect other administrators will follow Williams out the door.

Amy Bishop, a former assistant professor of biology, faces criminal charges in the shootings, which killed three of her colleagues (injuring three others) and reportedly were sparked when UAH denied Bishop tenure. As we reported last month, at least five lawsuits have been filed  in connection to the UAH shootings, and we suspect Williams' exit is a sign that the legal process is grinding forward.

We suspect it also is a sign that the University of Alabama administration will be held legally accountable--and that, in our view, is the way it should be.

From the outset, we have seen the Amy Bishop case as more than just a crime story. Is Amy Bishop a disturbed woman who was destined to act in a violent manner someday, no matter what happened around her? We think the story goes deeper than that.

By most accounts, Bishop displayed a prickly personality at UAH and could be pushy. Perhaps because of her Harvard pedigree on a relatively unknown Alabama campus, she gave off an air of superiority to some of her UAH colleagues. Some disturbing incidents in Bishop's past, none of which brought criminal charges at the time, have been widely reported.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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