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Legal news from Friday, December 20, 2013
by Bradley McAllister

The Ugandan Parliament announced on Friday the passing of the anti-gay bill that, if signed by President Yoweri Museveni in the next 30 days, will criminalize homosexuality and impose harsh jail terms for same-sex relationships. The bill stipulates a fourteen-year jail term for one convicted of homosexuality and a sentence of life imprisonment …

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by Bradley McAllister

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight inmates currently serving lengthly prison terms for crack cocaine offenses, citing the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA). The FSA reduced significant disparities in convictions of drug offenses related to crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The former ratio of sentences passed in 1986 …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday struck down three of the country's anti-prostitution laws, finding that they violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. While prostitution is not illegal in Canada, the laws at issue banned keeping a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution, and street-soliciting. Opponents of the laws had argued …

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by Kimberly Bennett

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday pardoning former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and releasing him from prison. Khodorkovsky has already spent over a decade in prison for fraud, theft and money laundering. In a statement posted on his website, Khodorkovsky said he had requested the pardon …

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by Kimberly Bennett

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that portions of Act 13 of 2012, a statute amending the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act, are unconstitutional. Specifically, the court found that the act violated the Pennsylvania Constitution by placing zoning rights regarding hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" solely in the hands …

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