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Legal news from Tuesday, November 20, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US prison population is currently eight times as high as it was in 1970, but zealous prosecution and tough sentencing guidelines have done little to curb crime, according to a report released Monday by the JFA Institute, a Washington criminal justice research group. The report said: Proponents of prison expansion have heralded this growth …

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by Caitlin Price

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Tuesday joined calls to suspend Pakistan from the Commonwealth in light of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule, suspension of the constitution and effective dismissal of the country's top judges. CHRI, which monitors human rights in the 53 Commonwealth nations and promotes adherence to the …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Judges dismissed from the Supreme Court of Pakistan and held under virtual house arrest in the wake of President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule are now "free to move" and leave their homes, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Igbal Cheema said Tuesday. Justice Rana Bhagwandas nonetheless told AFP that the …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Three Pakistan Supreme Court judges removed from their positions after President Pervez Musharraf issued his declaration of emergency rule early this month have ruled against his eligibility to run for re-election as president while still Army chief of staff, according to a report Tuesday in Pakistan's News daily. A panel headed by Justice Rana Bhagwandas and including …

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by Caitlin Price

Pennsylvania's lethal injection protocol creates an "unnecessary risk of pain and suffering" in violation of the Eighth Amendment, a lawyer for three death row convicts challenging the procedure said Tuesday. On November 9, lawyer David Rudovsky filed suit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of the plaintiff …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday granted certiorari in two cases and postponed jurisdiction in a third case. In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Supreme Court will consider whether the Second Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the District of Columbia from banning private …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A UK judge Tuesday sentenced Manfo Kwaku Asiedu to 33 years' imprisonment for his role in the July 21, 2005 failed bomb attacks on London's transit systems. Earlier this month, Asiedu pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to cause explosions and the prosecution agreed to drop the charge of conspiracy to …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Japanese government on Tuesday began fingerprinting and photographing foreign visitors, pursuant to an anti-terror bill that was approved by Japan's upper house of parliament in May. If the government determines that a visitor poses a terrorist threat or if they refuse to comply with the identification procedures, they will be …

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by Michael Sung

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office said Monday that Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak is being investigated for allegedly attempting to embezzle $43.3 million in state funds. Storchak has been detained to prevent him from destroying evidence or intimidating witnesses, according to prosecutors. Storchak was initially detained on November 15, along with Sodexim …

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by Michael Sung

The Supreme Court of Peru delayed the trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori Monday, granting a request by Fujimori's lawyers for additional preparation time and setting the new trial date for December 10. Fujimori is facing human rights charges for the 1992 murder of 25 people, and if convicted, …

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by Michael Sung

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed Tuesday to a new charter that will unite members into an economic bloc similar to the European Union, but faced criticism for the charter's weak stance on human rights. Article 14 of the charter establishes a body to monitor human rights in the region, but …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on Tuesday held its first public hearing, considering the appeal of Kaing Guek Eav, better known as "Duch," against his eight-year pre-trial detention. Duch argued that the tribunal risked violating international law if it continued to detain him. Though a decision is not …

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by Jaime Jansen

Pakistani authorities have released more than 3400 lawyers and political activists detained in the aftermath of President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Igbal Cheema told AFP Tuesday, adding that some 2000 others still in custody would be released "soon" although the release of people facing criminal charges would …

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by Jaime Jansen

A US federal grand jury has opened an investigation into Blackwater USA employees involved in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians during a September 16 incident that took place in West Baghdad, ABC News reported Monday. Several Blackwater guards have been subpoenaed to testify, though none of those called to testify were the guards who …

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