Legal news from Wednesday, September 21, 2011

[JURIST] The Liberian government must work to improve its generally poor prison conditions, according to an Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] assessment [report, PDF; press release] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] Wednesday dismissed a challenge to election monitoring under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) [materials]. In a 151-page decision [opinion, PDF], Judge John Bates rejected the arguments of officials representing Shelby County, Alabama, together … [read more]

[JURIST] A Paris prosecutor on Tuesday, asked that the corruption charges against former French president Jacques Chirac [BBC news profile; JURIST news archive] be dropped. Additionally, the prosecutor has requested acquittal [BBC report] of the nine other individuals charged with Chirac. The charges against Chirac stem from his time as … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website] on Friday reinstated [opinion] a $675,000 verdict against a Boston University [academic website] 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, … [read more]

[JURIST] US Supreme Court [official website] Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday ordered a stay of execution [text, PDF] for Cleve Foster [TDCJ profile; case materials], a former Army recruiter and convicted murderer. The execution, which had been scheduled for Tuesday evening, was stayed for the third time [AP report] and … [read more]

[JURIST] Chief US District Judge James Ware of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] decided Monday to unseal video recordings [order, PDF] from last year's trial over Proposition 8 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive], California's same-sex marriage ban. Unless a higher court overrules the … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Tuesday suggested a need for UN intervention [report text, PDF] 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, … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Monday ended an injunction [JURIST report] on damages levied against US oil company Chevron [corporate website; JURIST news archive], making the company potentially liable for $18 billion in damages to Ecuadorian citizens for an oil spill in … [read more]

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