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Legal news from Wednesday, December 12, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was pressured by the White House to lower disclosure requirements for companies storing or emitting 500 or more pounds of toxins, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Wednesday. The White House Office of Management and Budget …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A US District Court judge Wednesday rejected a lawsuit filed by automobile manufacturers challenging California's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Auto manufacturers, represented by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, argued that by regulating the emissions standards of automobiles, California would in effect be regulating fuel economy standards, which can only …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

CIA Director Michael Hayden appeared before a closed door session of the US House Intelligence Committee Wednesday to testify about the CIA's destruction of videotapes allegedly showing the harsh interrogation of "high value" terror suspects. Committee members complained that Congress had not been fully informed of the tapes' existence or of the …

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by Caitlin Price

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin on Wednesday expressed "grave concern" over the "lack of judicial guarantees and fair trial procedures" for detainees facing military commission proceedings at Guantanamo Bay. In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Scheinin also expressed concern regarding difficulties …

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by Caitlin Price

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Wednesday sentenced former Bosnian Serb general Dragomir Milosevic to 33 years in prison after convicting him of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Milosevic, not related to former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, was convicted for his role in …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox told said Wednesday that he intends to propose that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) grant a further one-year grace period to small businesses before requiring that they comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Cox's comments came during testimony [PDF text; press …

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by Caitlin Price

The legal advisor to the Convening Authority for Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay testified before members of Congress Tuesday that evidence gathered from interrogation techniques such as waterboarding may be admissible during military commission proceedings if it is "reliable and probative." Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security, …

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by Leslie Schulman

US President George W. Bush granted pardons to 29 people on Tuesday, including some convicted for drug crimes, fraud, or kickback schemes. In addition, Bush reduced the sentence of another man who had been convicted for dealing crack cocaine. He did not pardon former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, despite having previously said …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a motion Tuesday compelling the US government to preserve all evidence of torture against Majid Khan, the first "high-value" Guantanamo Bay detainee to be allowed to meet privately with attorneys. Khan, a 27-year-old Pakistani detainee and the only US resident among the …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Sentencing Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to give retroactive effect to an earlier amendment to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that will reduce penalties for crack cocaine offenders. The amendment, which took effect November 1, was intended to narrow the disparity between sentences for powder and crack cocaine offenses. Under the Sentencing Reform …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Robert Pickton, accused of the deadliest string of serial killings in Canadian history, was sentenced by a British Columbia judge Tuesday to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. The sentence was the maximum authorized by Canadian law for second-degree murder. Pickton was convicted Sunday in connection with the deaths of six …

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