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Legal news from Friday, May 8, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

A US military contractor who pleaded guilty in February to voluntary manslaughter for the 2008 shooting of an Afghan detainee was sentenced in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Friday to five years probation and a $12,500 fine. Don Ayala had been charged with second-degree murder for shooting and …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) will maintain a controversial Bush-era rule that limits how polar bears are protected from global warming, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Friday. Salazar had received special permission from Congress to amend the rule, which prevents the use …

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by Brian Jackson

US President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed $17 billion in cuts to the fiscal year 2010 federal budget, including cutting $400 million from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). SCAAP is a program that subsidizes state and local governments for the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens who commit crimes, and Obama's proposed …

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by Brian Jackson

Croatian parliament member Branimir Glavas was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the killing of Serbian civilians during the Croatian war of independence. Glavas stood accused of ordering the torture and death of Croatian Serbs in the town of Osijek in 1991, a charge he denied. As a safety precaution, …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

A jury in US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on Thursday convicted former Pfc. Steven D. Green of the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl, and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya. Prosecutors had previously elected to seek the death penalty against Green, one …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

Newly-declared Democratic Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) was appointed chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs on Thursday. Specter received that post from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) who voluntarily gave up his position as chairman and is expected to head a newly created subcommittee on human rights and the …

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by Lucas Tanglen

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local ordinances prohibiting convicted sex offenders (CSOs) from living near schools, playgrounds, and other public areas were preempted by the state's Megan's Law and, therefore, invalid. The court affirmed a July 2008 decision in the Appellate Division of Superior Court of New Jersey [official …

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by Lucas Tanglen

Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives on Thursday announced the "Keep Terrorists Out of America Act," which would require approval from a state's governor and legislature before Guantanamo Bay detainees could be transferred or released into it. Under the the proposed measure, the federal government would be required, at least …

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