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Legal news from Tuesday, December 8, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

Ohio prison officials on Tuesday conducted the first execution using a new single-drug lethal injection protocol. Death row inmate Kenneth Biros was executed after the US Supreme Court rejected a last-minute stay application Tuesday morning. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had rejected Biros's application for a stay of execution …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in two cases related to "honest services" fraud. In Black v. United States, the Court heard arguments on the appeal of Canadian-born former media mogul Conrad Black. The Court is …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-6 Monday in favor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. This is the first time that any body in the state legislature has approved a same-sex marriage bill. The vote came after hours of debate with testimony from …

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by Megan McKee

Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday urged Philippine authorities to establish a timetable to end the martial law declared in its southern province of Maguindanao and to dismantle paramilitary groups throughout the nation. Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo imposed martial law and suspended habeas corpus last week in response to instability …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The North Korean delegation to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) defended North Korea's human rights record Monday while presenting a report in compliance with the UNHRC's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Ambassador Ri Tcheul denied allegations of torture and claimed that serious malnutrition is no longer an issue in the country. …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in Alvarez v. Smith that a challenge to an Illinois statute authorizing forfeiture of personal property used to facilitate drug crimes is moot because the parties resolved underlying disputes as to ownership of the property. The Court vacated the decision …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers that the requirement that parties submit proof that they have conferred on issues before seeking arbitration under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) is not jurisdictional. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in Beard v. Kindler that a state procedural rule is not automatically "inadequate" to bar federal habeas review under the adequate state ground doctrine. The case arose when the Pennsylvania courts applied the state's fugitive forfeiture rule and concluded that …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter that disclosure orders adverse to the attorney-client privilege do not qualify for immediate appeal under the collateral order doctrine. The Court affirmed the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

A legally-binding treaty on climate change should be ready in 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon announced Monday during the 13th Session of the General Conference of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Ban's comments come as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) is taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A Chilean judge ruled Monday that former president Eduardo Frei Montalva was assassinated, charging six in connection with his death. Judge Alejandro Madrid of the Chilean Court of Appeals found that Frei Montalva, who was president of Chile from 1964-1970, had been poisoned with mustard gas and other chemicals before …

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by Devin Montgomery

The National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) and other groups on Monday petitioned the Philippines Supreme Court to reject a proclamation by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo imposing martial law and suspending habeas corpus in the province of Maguindanao. The groups claim that Arroyo exceeded her constitutional authority [Philippine …

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