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Legal news from Wednesday, September 21, 2011
by Dan Taglioli

The Liberian government must work to improve its generally poor prison conditions, according to an Amnesty International (AI) assessment released Wednesday. "Good Intentions Are Not Enough: The Struggle to Reform Liberia's Prisons" describes an otherwise determined government's failure to cope with the needs of its prisoners as it struggles to rebuild a country …

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by Dan Taglioli

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia Wednesday dismissed a challenge to election monitoring under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). In a 151-page decision, Judge John Bates rejected the arguments of officials representing Shelby County, Alabama, together with a corps of conservative activists, who claimed it is …

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by Ashley Hileman

A Paris prosecutor on Tuesday, asked that the corruption charges against former French president Jacques Chirac be dropped. Additionally, the prosecutor has requested acquittal of the nine other individuals charged with Chirac. The charges against Chirac stem from his time as mayor of the city of Paris and accuse him of …

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by Drew Singer

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Friday reinstated a $675,000 verdict against a Boston University student who illegally downloaded 30 songs and then shared them on the Web.The verdict was, at one point, reduced to $67,500, because then-judge Nancy Gertner, who has since retired, found the original penalty "unconstitutionally excessive." …

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by Ashley Hileman

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday ordered a stay of execution for Cleve Foster, a former Army recruiter and convicted murderer. The execution, which had been scheduled for Tuesday evening, was stayed for the third time and will remain so until the court decides whether to grant …

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by Drew Singer

Chief US District Judge James Ware of the US District Court for the Northern District of California decided Monday to unseal video recordings from last year's trial over Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban. Unless a higher court overrules the order, it will take effect September 30. In …

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by Julia Zebley

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday suggested a need for UN intervention in Belarus and demanded the nation free non-violent political prisoners. Although Belarus is an active member of the UN and has ratified many of its human rights policies, Pillay noted a sharp deterioration in human rights since the …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday ended an injunction on damages levied against US oil company Chevron, making the company potentially liable for $18 billion in damages to Ecuadorian citizens for an oil spill in the 1990s. The award will not be granted immediately, pending …

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