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Legal news from Monday, June 4, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

The trial of former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member James Ford Seale, accused of kidnapping and killing two black men in Mississippi in 1964, began Monday. Seale, now 71 years old, was originally arrested in 1964 on suspicion of kidnapping Henry Dee and Charles Moore, who were later found dead in the Mississippi River. He was released …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was indicted Monday on 16 counts, including charges of bribery, racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Jefferson allegedly solicited bribes from numerous companies both in the US and in Africa, setting up a fake company to launder the money. Due to the international nature of …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled unanimously Monday that Michigan's ban on what opponents of the procedure call "partial-birth" abortion is unconstitutional because it "fails to comply with the explicit limitations that the Supreme Court has established for statutes regulating abortion." Instead of banning a particular …

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by Michael Sung

The US District Court for the Southern District of Texas sentenced Enron Broadband Services former COO Kevin Hannon to two years in prison Monday. Hannon, who was charged along with four other former Enron executives and mid-level employees for conspiracy, fraud and insider trading, faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison for misrepresenting Enron's …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled unanimously Monday that Missouri's lethal injection procedures do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, making it possible for lethal injections to resume in that state. The court said that there was no indication that executed prisoners felt any unnecessary pain …

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by Michael Sung

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York on Monday vacated a determination by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that Fox Television broadcasts violated the FCC's indecency and profanity prohibitions. The appeals court ruled that the FCC's "fleeting expletives" standard "represented a significant departure from positions previously taken …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Supreme Court Monday granted certiorari in a case where the Court must decide whether an age discrimination lawsuit against FedEx was filed properly. In FedEx v. Holowecki (06-1322) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], FedEx seeks to overturn a Second Circuit decision that an "intake questionnaire" submitted …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Violent crime in the US increased 1.3 percent last year, according to the Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2006, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Monday. Property crime decreased 2.9 percent, but the increase in violent crimes marks the second straight year that rate rose. The 2005 Annual Report on Violent …

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by Michael Sung

The military judge presiding over military commission proceedings against Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr Monday dismissed all charges against Khadr, citing a lack of jurisdiction. A Guantanamo Combatant Status Review Tribunal found that Khadr was an "enemy combatant," not an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required …

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by Michael Sung

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday returned a government complaint against lawyers who allegedly made "humiliating" statements against the military and judiciary at a seminar that was attended by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, saying that it was incomplete, failed to cite any legal provision to prosecute the lawyers, and was …

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by Michael Sung

A Bangladeshi court Sunday ordered the continued detention of Abdul Jalil, the secretary general of the Bangladesh political party Awami League, on charges of corruption and misuse of power despite Jalil's lawyers' request that he be released on bail due to poor health. The investigation against Jalil is a part of the Bangladeshi interim government's "anti-corruption campaign" …

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by Michael Sung

The treason trial of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye and ten other opposition members resumed Monday, after a year-long delay following the voluntary withdrawal of two judges. Besigye, who has been charged with plotting to forcefully overthrow the Ugandan government between 2001 and 2004, has maintained his innocence and says that the …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in three argued cases Monday, including Uttecht v. Brown where the Court held that federal courts reviewing claims that a juror was improperly dismissed due to their views on capital punishment "owe deference to the trial court, which is in a superior position …

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by Michael Sung

Thousands of survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre filed a class action lawsuit against the United Nations and the Netherlands Monday, alleging that both are liable for their failure to protect civilians, many of whom were refugees that relocated to the Srebrenica enclave declared [S/Res 819, PDF] to to be a "safe area" by …

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by Michael Sung

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor boycotted the opening of judicial proceedings against him Monday at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), saying in a letter to the court that his confidence in the SCSL's "ability to dispense justice" was "misplaced" because he was prevented from seeing his preferred lawyer and …

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