Legal news from Wednesday, July 26, 2006

[JURIST] Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website] filed a criminal complaint against the Federal Electoral Institute [official website] Tuesday, alleging that it should have blocked campaign ads funded by private companies that he alleges broke election regulations. Obrador has claimed that the commercials contained subliminal messages … [read more]

[JURIST] A federal judge in Manhattan ruled [opinion text, PDF] Wednesday that statements made by two partners at accountancy firm KPMG [corporate website] cannot be used in their upcoming trial because federal prosecutors coerced the two defendants into cooperating with the ongoing criminal tax shelters case [JURIST report] by using … [read more]

[JURIST] China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) [official website, in Chinese; Wikipedia backgrounder], the country's highest criminal prosecution body, has issued new regulations outlining 42 offenses constituting abuses of authority in a bid to prevent torture of criminal suspects and other malfeasance. The regulations are meant to provide criteria for prosecuting … [read more]

[JURIST] A Texas jury Wednesday found Andrea Yates [Chronicle coverage] not guilty by reason of insanity of drowning her five children in 2001. Yates will now be committed to a Texas mental hospital and will undergo periodic hearings to determine whether she will be eligible for release. Yates' attorney argued … [read more]

[JURIST] US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox [official profile] suggested that Congress may need to permit increased SEC oversight over hedge funds [prepared statement] to protect retail investors and prevent fraud, during a hearing [committee materials] held by the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday. Cox lamented a June decision … [read more]

[JURIST] Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock [official website] Wednesday called on Australian states to ban books inciting terrorism in the wake of a recent Australian Classification Review Board (CRB) [official website] decision to ban two Islamic books that allegedly incited terror while allowing five others to circulate. An incitement ban would … [read more]

[JURIST] US Border Patrol [official website] Chief David Aguilar [official profile] said Tuesday that arrests of people trying to cross the border illegally have dropped by 45 percent [DHS press release] in the two months since President Bush announced a plan to send 6,000 National Guard troops [JURIST report] to … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] granted an administrative injunction Wednesday in the case of US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website], preventing FBI review of documents seized from Jefferson's congressional offices until after the court rules on the merits of Jefferson's appeal. Jefferson … [read more]

[JURIST] CIA Director Michael Hayden on Wednesday spoke against requiring the US government to show probable cause to obtain warrants to wiretap domestic conversations thought to involve al-Qaeda affiliates during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing [committee materials] on adapting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text] to the threat of … [read more]

[JURIST] Missouri's revised plan for conducting executions by lethal injection [JURIST news archive] fails to ensure that executions do not cause unconstitutional pain and suffering, according to US District Judge Fernando Gaitan [official profile], who halted all executions in the state in June [JURIST report]. Gaitan wrote on Tuesday that … [read more]

[JURIST] The Washington Supreme Court ruled Wednesday morning that a statute prohibiting same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] does not violate the state Constitution. The Supreme Court reversed a 2004 Superior Court ruling [opinion text, PDF] that the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional because it was "not rationally … [read more]

[JURIST] The Ohio Supreme Court [official website] ruled 7-0 Wednesday that a Cincinnati suburb may not use eminent domain [JURIST news archive] to take private property on the sole basis of economic benefit to the community. Several residents of Norwood held out on selling their homes to make way for … [read more]

[JURIST] Israel has denied using banned cluster munitions [FAS backgrounder; Cluster Munition Coalition advocacy website] in Lebanon. On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch accused Israel [HRW press release] of using the cluster grenades in an attack on a Hezbollah village in South Lebanon last week. Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Arkady Milman … [read more]

[JURIST] UK Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer [official profile] issued a review [materials] of the implementation of the Human Rights Act [text] Tuesday indicating that the government will not support legislation to amend or appeal the Act but wants instead to dispel "myths" surrounding it so that public officials governed by … [read more]

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein attended trial proceedings [JURIST news archive] Wednesday for the first time since the prosecution called for the death penalty [JURIST report] during closing arguments in June. In a statement to Presiding Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile], Hussein asked to be executed by firing squad rather than hanging … [read more]

[JURIST] The UK Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that Military Families Against the War (MFAW) [advocacy website], a group of families with members who have died in Iraq, is entitled to apply for judicial review of the government's decision not to hold an independent inquiry into why the UK went … [read more]

[JURIST] The Bush administration has begun circulating a draft bill to authorize military trials for terror detainees [JURIST news archive] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to a report in Wednesday's New York Times. The draft bill, written by acting Assistant Attorney General Steven Bradbury [SourceWatch profile], would allow … [read more]

[JURIST] United Nations relief coordinator Jan Egeland [official profile; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that Israel had used "disproportionate" force in its military offensive against the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip [JURIST news archive], but he added that both sides had violated international humanitarian law [JURIST report]. Touring … [read more]

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