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Legal news from Wednesday, November 4, 2009
by Dwyer Arce

Researchers in Sarajevo on Tuesday unveiled a Google Earth tool mapping the sites of war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide. The Bosnian war crimes atlas was compiled by the Research and Documentation Center (RDC), a Sarajevo-based research organization tasked with collecting data regarding the …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two cases. In Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, the Court heard arguments on whether a prosecutor may be subjected to a civil trial and potential damages for a wrongful conviction and incarceration where the prosecutor …

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by Carrie Schimizzi

Judge Oscar Magi of the Fourth Chamber of the Court of Milan on Wednesday convicted 23 former CIA agents for the 2003 kidnapping and rendition of Egyptian terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. The nearly three-year trial, which was delayed many times, is the first in the world involving …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Ohio voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, commonly referred to as Issue 2. The purpose of the board will be to maintain food safety, encourage locally grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families. The measure will amend the Ohio Constitution and prevent groups from putting …

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by Brian Jackson

Voters in Maine on Tuesday approved an expansion of the state's existing medical marijuana laws by a 59 to 41 percent margin, with 87 percent of precincts reporting. The proposed legislation, Question 5 on the Maine ballot, will allow for increased access to medical marijuana through dispensaries, and will increase the number …

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by Hillary Stemple

New York voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday amending the state constitution to allow the state legislature to pass a law permitting prisoners to work with non-profit organizations on a voluntary basis. Prisoners previously participated in work programs with non-profit organizations, but a 2005 opinion issued by the Commission of Correction indicated that the practice might …

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by Amelia Mathias

The UN Organization Mission in DR Congo (MONUC) has given funding and support to military groups that are committing human rights abuses, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) Tuesday. HRW detailed the alleged attacks, rapes, and murders of civilians, calling them war crimes. HRW senior researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said:Some Congolese army soldiers …

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by Sarah Miley

An amendment to the Texas Constitution limiting government enforcement of eminent domain was overwhelmingly approved by voters on Tuesday with more than 80 percent of those polled voting favorably. Proposition 11 prohibits government officials from taking private property and allotting it to private buyers for the purpose of economic development or to increase …

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by Amelia Mathias

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon attempted Tuesday to temper expectations for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen set to take place in a month, saying that it might not result in a treaty. The meeting, which will host world leaders, is an effort to replace the controversial Kyoto Protocol, which several …

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by Dwyer Arce

Maine voters approved a ballot initiative Tuesday that repealed a same-sex marriage bill passed by the state legislature last May. Question 1, which read, "Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?" was projected to prevail by …

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by Matt Glenn

Five men who claim they were illegally detained after 9/11 reached a settlement agreement with the US government for $1.26 million, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which represented the men, announced Tuesday. The men were part of Turkmen v. Ashcroft, a suit against several Bush administration officials and law …

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by Matt Glenn

Former outside accountant for Bernard Madoff, David Friehling, pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud charges in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Despite his guilty plea, Friehling did not admit knowledge of Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Friehling, who was charged [complaint, PDF; …

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by Jonathan Cohen

The European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) ruled Tuesday that displaying a crucifix in a public school classroom violates the European Convention on Human Rights. The lawsuit was brought against Italy by Soile Lautsi, who claimed that displaying a crucifix "infringed the constitutional principles of secularism and of impartiality on the part …

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by Andrea Bottorff

Former British officer Simon Mann, convicted last year of involvement in a 2004 coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea, was released from prison Tuesday after being pardoned [Decree 116/2009 text; Decree 117/2009 text] by Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Mann and his accomplices, four South African mercenaries, …

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