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Legal news from Wednesday, December 7, 2011
by Jamie Reese

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced Wednesday that his office will no longer seek the death penalty against Mumia Abu-Jamal. As a result of the decision, Abu-Jamal will remain in prison for life ending a 30-year sentencing battle after he was convicted of killing police officer Daniel Faulkner. Williams …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison on corruption charges. Judge James Zagel of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois handed down the sentence after Blagojevich made a public apology in court earlier in the day. Blagojevich was scheduled to be sentenced …

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by Katherine Getty

The French parliament approved a proposal on Wednesday to ban prostitution. The non-binding resolution was backed by a show of hands and is expected to be followed by a bill. Prostitution is not currently outlawed in France although certain linked activities are. France's sex worker's trade union, STRASS, …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Brazilian Senate voted 59-7 Tuesday to approve amendments to the country's Forest Code. Supporters of the bill, including Brazil's National Agriculture and Livestock Federation, say that this change will assist in lowering the carbon emissions while continuing to require farmers and ranchers to preserve significant amount of forest. On …

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by Max Slater

A UN panel of independent human rights experts warned Wednesday that recently-passed legislation in Malaysia would severely curtail the right to peaceably assemble in that country. The Peaceful Assembly Act 2011, which passed the lower house of Parliament last week, would limit free speech rights by forbidding …

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by Ashley Hileman

Bank of America (BOA) agreed Monday to pay $315 million in a settlement of claims brought by investors alleging they were misled with respect to mortgage-backed investments. Court papers disclosing the settlement agreement were filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The claims were a part of …

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by Ashley Hileman

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has suggested repealing specific provisions of the state's controversial immigration law. Strange sent a letter to leaders of the Alabama legislature suggesting the removal of at least two of the sections that are currently on hold as a result of a federal court order. The sections Strange …

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by Jamie Davis

An Egyptian court on Wednesday rejected the prosecution's motion for a new judge in the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak and fined the prosecution for making the request. Lawyers representing Mubarak's alleged victims filed the petition, claiming that presiding Judge Ahmed Refaat showed bias in favor of Mubarak and overlooked …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Senate Judiciary Committee returned Tuesday to the longstanding debate over whether to televise the proceedings of the US Supreme Court, including whether Congress, as an equal branch of government, has the authority to require the court to admit cameras. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) submitted the …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases on Tuesday. In Williams v. Illinois, the justices heard the latest in a series of arguments over the Confrontation Clause and will decide if a defendant's rights are violated if the state permits an expert witness to testify about …

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