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Legal news from Friday, December 15, 2006
by Jeannie Shawl

A federal judge issued a memorandum of intended decision Friday, concluding that California's lethal injection procedure creates "an undue and unnecessary risk" of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution. The memorandum came in the case of condemned killer Michael Morales, who argued that it was not …

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by Lisl Brunner

The war crimes Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina convicted its third defendant in one week on Friday when it sentenced Dragan Damjanovic to twenty years in prison. Damjanovic was found guilty on six of the seven counts of crimes against humanity listed in his indictment, including murder, torture and rape committed during …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Florida Governor Jeb Bush suspended all executions in the state Friday after a medical examiner said that the execution of Angel Diaz earlier this week was botched. Diaz endured a 34-minute-long execution and medical examiner Dr. William Hamilton said Friday that preliminary autopsy results showed that a second injection was required in the execution because …

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by Lisl Brunner

European leaders are pushing to revive the European Constitution after its ratification by the Finnish parliament last week. Leaders of Spain and Luxembourg have called a conference in January for the sixteen EU member states that ratified the Constitution, as well as Bulgaria and Romania. German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC …

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by Lisl Brunner

Federal prosecutors have charged sixteen Bosnian Serb immigrants with immigration fraud for allegedly lying about their military experiences during the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, the US Department of Justice announced Friday. One of those charged is accused of leading a Bosnian Serb unit that participated in the Srebrenica massacre of Muslims …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, told the UN Security Council Thursday that his investigation into crimes committed in Darfur is almost complete, noting that he is "preparing to submit evidence to the ICC judges no later than February 2007." Moreno-Ocampo submitted a report to …

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by Lisl Brunner

An Alabama jury returned a verdict in favor of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. on Friday, concluding that the drug Vioxx did not cause the plaintiff in the case to suffer a heart attack. The jury also found that Merck did not withhold information prior to removing the drug from the market in 2004. …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A federal judge on Friday denied bail for the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Roy Belfast Jr. and Charles Taylor Jr., was charged last week with committing torture in the first prosecution brought under a federal anti-torture statute. Emmanuel commanded a paramilitary unit …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Joseph Nzabirinda, a Rwandan businessman charged in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide, pleaded guilty to murder as a crime against humanity Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Nzabirinda was initially charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity and rape as a …

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by Brett Murphy

US Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State John Bellinger told the Daily Telegraph on Friday that Guantanamo Bay detainees considered an ongoing threat to security will remain in custody indefinitely, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to try them before a military commission. In an interview with the Telegraph, …

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by Brett Murphy

US Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State John Bellinger told the Daily Telegraph on Friday that Guantanamo Bay detainees considered an ongoing threat to security will remain in custody indefinitely, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to try them before a military commission. In an interview with the Telegraph, …

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by Brett Murphy

Defense counsel for alleged terrorist Jose Padilla have filed a motion asking a federal judge in Miami to hold a hearing to decide whether or not Padilla is competent to stand trial. Recent evaluations of Padilla by a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist suggest that Padilla is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his years …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Ireland's High Court has refused to recognize the same-sex marriage of a lesbian couple married in Canada in 2003. Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone sued to force Ireland to recognize their marriage, performed in British Columbia after same-sex marriage was legalized in the province. High Court Justice Elizabeth Dunne rejected the couple's petition Thursday, ruling …

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by Brett Murphy

US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton on Thursday called for international criminal charges to be brought against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide against Christians and Jews. While speaking at a Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations symposium, Bolton, who was joined by former Israeli UN Ambassador Dore …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Spanish parliament began debating the proposed Law for the Recovery of the Historical Memory Thursday, legislation aimed at healing the wounds of Gen. Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 following a bitter three-year civil war. The bill would set aside $25 million to compensate victims of the …

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by Brett Murphy

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday denied any knowledge of the alleged CIA kidnapping of German national Khaled el-Masri until after the man was released. Steinmeier, who has previously denied that Germany aided the CIA in kidnapping el-Masri, reiterated that sentiment Thursday, saying that "Germany provided no assistance …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Dutch Parliament voted Thursday to strip Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk of responsibility for setting immigration policy and to temporarily halt the deportation of failed asylum seekers. Verdonk, known domestically as the "Iron Lady" for her tough anti-immigration initiatives, will now be responsible for integration and child protection. Verdonk was stripped of her immigration portfolio …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US Justice Department lawyers have asked a federal appeals court to overturn an October district court ruling ordering the Secret Service to release visitor logs for the personal residence and office of Vice-President Dick Cheney. US District Judge Ricardo Urbina issued the order in a lawsuit …

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