Wednesday, February 17, 2010

separate justice system thwarts background checks

AP | In the days since Friday's shooting, revelations about Amy Bishop's past have raised questions about whether much of the violence could have been prevented. In the latest twist, police said Tuesday that Bishop had also been charged with assaulting a woman in 2002 during a tirade over a child's booster seat at a restaurant.

On Tuesday, the 44-year-old Bishop was under extra guard at an Alabama jail. Students and victims' relatives want to know how someone with such a tortured past could ever have been hired at a state university.

"Do they not do background checks on teachers? How did all this slip through the cracks?" nursing student Caitlin Phillips asked.

University President David B. Williams defended the decision to hire Bishop. He said a review of her personnel file and her hiring file raised no red flags.

Police ran a criminal background check Monday, after she was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder.

"Even now, nothing came up," Williams said.