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Legal news from Monday, January 7, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

Violent crime rates in the US decreased by 1.8 percent between the months of January and June 2007, according to the 2007 Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report released Monday by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In addition to the overall decrease in violent crime, the report showed a 6.1 percent decrease in …

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by Howard Kline

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka Monday ordered the country's government to stop cordon-and-search security operations, in which security forces cut off access to a populated area before searching and arresting residents within. Human rights groups have criticized the practice, arguing that the arrests constitute collective punishment infringing on civil liberties and are …

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by Dennis Zawacki II

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Monday ruled that a 2005 lawsuit challenging the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) should not have been dismissed by a lower federal court. The National Education Association and individual school districts in Texas, Michigan and Vermont filed the lawsuit …

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by Brett Murphy

Argentinian coast guard officer and torture suspect Hector Febres may have been murdered to prevent him from disclosing human rights violations committed during Argentina's Dirty War, according a resolution written by Argentinian Judge Sandra Arroyo reported by Reuters Monday. Arroyo has ordered that the two coast guard officials supervising Febres' imprisonment …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the case of Arave v. Hoffman (07-110), where the Court first granted certiorari in November to consider whether a death row inmate in Idaho should be able to accept a plea bargain after his conviction based on an argument that …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) on whether the three-drug lethal injection cocktail now used in over 30 states violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The petitioner, Ralph Baze, who was sentenced to death by lethal injection for …

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by Michael Sung

Three Indonesian Islamic militants sentenced to death for their roles in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings will seek a religious opinion on the legality of execution by firing squad from the Indonesian Council of Ulema, their lawyer said Monday. The three militants - Mukhlas, Amrozi, and Imam Samudra - are seeking an execution by beheading …

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by Michael Sung

The Special Court for Sierra Leone on Monday resumed the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor with testimony from the prosecution's first witness, a Canadian expert on so-called "blood diamonds" who told the court that the diamond trade prompted Liberia's role in Sierra Leone's civil war. Proceedings had been delayed …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The military court system administered by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) often fails to provide full due process rights to Palestinian defendants, according to a report released Sunday by an Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din. An IDF spokesperson dismissed the report, saying that its methodology, in which researchers attended 800 hearings and …

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