Legal news from Friday, November 5, 2004
21:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US government will consider on a case-by-case basis allowing Haitian illegal immigrants who were victims of Tropical Storm Jeanne to stay in the US, so long as they are not violent criminals. Bill Strassberger, from the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, stated that the bureau will [read more]

20:11 EDT

[JURIST] Citing sovereign immunity, the Virginia Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by one of 212 women who claimed that drinking contaminated tap water from Chesapeake city caused miscarriages or birth defects. Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge Norman Olitksy had earlier rejected the sovereign immunity defense, which traditionally [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Two of the largest textbook publishers - Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Glencoe/McGraw-Hill - have agreed to change health-related textbooks in Texas to depict marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The Texas Board of Education approved the new textbooks Friday with a 10-4 vote. A [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Chilean army has formally accepted responsibility for human rights violations from 1973-1990 under General Augusto Pinochet's rule. Chilean President Ricardo Lagos called it a "historic step" towards national unity. Current Army Commander General Juan Emilio Chyre offered no excuses and said that the army accepted full responsibility for [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Ralph Tyson released a ruling Friday indicating he will not overturn the conviction of ex-Governor Edwin Edwards. After serving four terms as Louisiana's Governor from 1972-96, Edwards was convicted in 2000 for extorting payoffs from businessmen seeking riverboat casino licenses. The rejected defense motion claimed a [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Attendance at a number of Arizona public schools has dropped dramatically in the past few days in what Hispanic community leaders are calling a parental response to Proposition 200 [PDF], approved by state voters on Tuesday. The new law requires a person to show proof of citizenship when seeking [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled Friday against a recent government decision to allow newlyweds in the province of Punjab to serve food to wedding guests. The court held that the original ban against food service, imposed by the provincial government in 1997, should remain in force to discourage [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Department of Justice has announced that a federal judge has ordered a freeze of $500 million in assets held by San Diego tax-planning company Xelan and its subsidiaries. The company has sold tax-reduction plans to about 4000 doctors and dentists worth at least $420 million in the past [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US military has provided Associated Press details of eight cases of abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay in response to a written inquiry by the news organization. The response provided details of eight cases of abuse mentioned by James R. Schlesinger, who led a committee investigation into abuses [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have harshly criticized a proposal by Russian officials to detain relatives of terrorists to discourage hostage-taking. Such a proposal would violate international law, according to UN human rights experts Leila Zerrougui and Stephen Toope. The plan was [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington state Supreme Court has overturned a death sentence, ruling that the jury may have been prejudiced by the sight of ankle shackles on the defendant, Cecil E. Davis. Davis was convicted of murdering a 65-year-old neighbor, but the court ruled in an 8-1 decision that the jury [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] A military lawyer has recommended that a Navy SEAL accused of abusing prisoners in Iraq should not be court-martialed, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday. The lawyer instead recommended a nonjudicial punishment for the SEAL. The decision on whether to prosecute rests with the commander of the unit at [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Saskatchewan judge has ruled that a Canadian federal law on marriage is unconsitutional, making it the seventh jurisdiction in the country to approve same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to rule on proposed legislation legalizing same-sex marriages throughout the country. CBC News has more. [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese Ministry of Justice has warned in a report Friday that the country's prison system is overwhelmed, with some prisons unable to accommodate any more prisoners. The system is at about 117 percent capacity, which is the highest since the Justice Ministry began keeping records in 1972. The [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] A website for Canada's Citizenship and Immigration agency was flooded with US visitors following the news of Tuesday's elections results. Officials said American traffic on the site was six times higher than normal, and the previous record for hits in a day was doubled to 179,000. The Canadian Press [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Kyoto Protocol Friday, completing Russia's ratification of the treaty and giving the global warming accord enough signatures to come into force as early as next year. The treaty now has the backing of 126 countries, with the necessary 55 industrialized countries accounting for [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has finalized a new team of commissioners that appeared to put the power transition of the European Union back on track. Most notably, Barroso replaced controversial Justice portfolio nominee Rocco Buttiglione with Franco Frattini, now the Italian Foreign Minister. The new administration [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Friday, Nov. 5.The Cato Institute is holding a briefing on Congressional legislation of computer spyware, featuring Orson Swindle of the Federal Trade Commission. Audio from the briefing is available beginning at 12 PM ET.The [read more]

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