Legal news from Friday, April 22, 2005
19:04 EDT

[JURIST] A new Army investigative report has cleared four top US military officers - including former Iraq commander Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez - of wrongdoing in the Iraq prison abuse scandal, according to officials speaking Friday. The as-yet-unreleased report conducted by US Army Inspector General Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Green [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] has pleaded guilty to six conspiracy charges [indictment] connected with the 9/11 attacks that killed more than 3000 people. Upon conviction, he could face the death penalty. Earlier today, Moussaoui's own lawyers had asked the judge [JURIST report] to reject a guilty plea, citing [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Vice President Dick Cheney [official website] said Friday that, if necessary, he would cast the tie-breaking vote to ban Senate filibusters of judicial nominees. Speaking to the Republican National Lawyers Association [official website], Cheney declared that "the decision about how to proceed will be made by the Republican leadership [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue [official website] Friday signed into law a bill that would require voters to show photo identification [bill summary] before being allowed to cast ballots. Supporters of the measure say that it will crack down on voter fraud, but opponents say that the law unfairly targets [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has revived part of a 2000 lawsuit against gun manufacturers seeking to hold the companies liable for shootings carried out with automatic weapons. The entire lawsuit was dismissed in a 2002 DC Superior Court ruling, but on Thursday the full Court of [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] The UN's independent expert on human rights in Afghanistan, Cherif Bassiouni [DePaul University faculty profile] says he has received reports of torture and other abuses by US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. In a report of his own released Thursday Bassiouni said he has been told that security agencies [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that lawyers for September 11 terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui have asked the judge in his case to reject his attempt to plead guilty.1:02 PM ET - Moussaoui's lawyers argued in a late filing made just hours before a public hearing scheduled for Friday at 3:30 PM [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's corporations and securities law news, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. [corporate website] spokesman said a federal grand jury is reviewing allegations of misspending within company. The investigation into Wal-Mart began after it handed over internal documents to the Justice Department [official website] related to allegations that former vice [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, today is the 35th celebration of "Earth Day", a day first started by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as a time to reflect on the environment and mankind's relationship to it. The first Earth Day in 1970 was marked with seminars held around the country [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] In a rare televised address to the nation [audio], Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin [official website] apologized Thursday night for a sponsorship scandal that has shaken his Liberal Party [official website]. During his address, Martin acknowledged allegations of money laundering and kickbacks and took full responsiblility for the misuse [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, Togolese Interior Minister Francois Esso Boko told reporters late Thursday night that he was recommending that what he called the "suicidal electoral process" - the presidential election scheduled for Sunday - be postponed, warning that all signs pointed to it being extremely violent. Esso Boko [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The BBC is reporting that a London court has sentenced Saajid Badat [Wikipedia profile] to 13 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in February to conspiring with "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid to blow up an American Airlines flight. [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] ended its 61st and possibly last session Friday in the wake of UN Secretary Kofi Annan's announced plans to radically overhaul the 53-member body. Annan and others in the international community have criticized the commission's failure to take definite action on [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of 24 suspected members of an al-Quaida cell in Spain began in Madrid Friday. Three of the suspects allegedly used Spain as a staging ground for the September 11, 2001 attacks [JURIST news archive] against targets in the United States. Spain is now the second European country, [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Stephen Breyer, and Antonin Scalia gave candid reactions to recent criticisms of the "activist" federal judiciary in a rare joint interview-cum-converation moderated by NBC's Tim Russert at the National Archives Thursday. O'Connor and Breyer agreed that such criticism was "nothing new," pointing out that sometimes [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The National Center for State Courts [official NCSC website] has asked Congress to earmark 1-3 percent of new homeland security grants to states for use in improving security at courthouses. The request comes in the wake of recent incidents at several courthouses, including last month's murder of Judge Rowland [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] The lower house of the Spanish Parliament [official website, in English] has approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriages, a measure sponsored by Spain's ruling Socialist Party. The bill, passed Thursday, now moves to the Senate [official website, in English], where the Socialists have strong support. Adoption of the [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Virginia Supreme Court has affirmed the death penalty for DC sniper John Allen Muhammad.9:47 AM ET - Review the 138-page opinion [PDF]. Three justices issued a partial dissent. [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] One day after a Michigan probate court ordered Yahoo! [portal entry] to release the contents of an e-mail account belonging to deceased Marine Justin Ellsworth [memorial website], the company complied Thursday by delivering a CD of the private documents to Ellsworth's father, John Ellsworth. The case highlighted a conflict [read more]

00:04 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Friday, April 22.The US Senate [official website] convenes at 9:30 AM ET today. Watch a live webcast of the session.The US House [official website] is not in session today.The Republican National Lawyers Association [official [read more]

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