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Legal news from Wednesday, January 11, 2017
by Akira Tomlinson

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday declined to delay the execution of convicted killer Ricky Gray, which is scheduled to take place January 18. Gray's attorneys argued in December that the drugs to be used during the execution were untested and potentially torturous. Judge Henry Hudson concluded that "any …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

Saudi Arabia has arrested two human rights advocates since the beginning of the year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Wednesday. The reason Essam Koshak, 45, and Ahmed al-Musheikhis, 46, were arrested has not been released, and HRW called on Saudi Arabia to disclose the reasons for their detention. If they have not committed any recognizable crime …

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by Autumn Callan

A California appeals court ruled Tuesday that the pioneer law that requires prosecutors rather than secret grand juries to decide whether to indict police officers who use lethal force is unconstitutional. The Third District Court of Appeal said the law impedes upon the California Constitution of 1979 by limiting a county grand jury's authority. …

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by Akira Tomlinson

Perpetrators of war crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR) have not been prosecuted or investigated for their crimes, according to an Amnesty International (AI) report on Wednesday. According to AI, the country's justice system needs to be reconstructed and a Special Criminal Court, tasked with trying suspected war criminals, and a witness protection …

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by Meena Ansari

German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere, released a plan Tuesday to overhaul the country's antiterror enforcement following the December lorry attack on a Berlin Christmas market. Police have been seeking to improve antiterror enforcement since Anis Amri killed 12 people and exposed holes in the country's security architecture. The overhaul was announced …

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by Erik Slobe

Tthe North Dakota Senate on Tuesday rejected a bill to update the definition of marriage and recognize same-sex marital relationships. The bill woud have updated the language in several state laws to change "husband and wife" to "two individuals married to each other" and other similar changes. The bill failed to pass …

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by Autumn Callan

UN Special Rapporteur Michel Frost will visit Mexico for the first time to assess the safety of human rights defenders, according to a statement Wednesday. Frost's visit will take place from January 16 to 24, during which he will visit Mexico City, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Oaxaca and the state of Mexico. "My goal is to take the pulse of …

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by Emelina Perez

A court in Pakistan issued a death warrant for a schizophrenic prisoner, Khizar Hayat, sentenced to death in 2003 for shooting a police officer. The execution date was set just months after Pakistan's Supreme Court blocked the execution of another prisoner who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2012. Hayat, who is 55 years old, was also …

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by Erik Slobe

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Hawaii has filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), stating that overcrowding in the state correctional facilities is resulting in violations of the prisoners' Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The complaint, filed Friday, shows that there is overcrowding in seven out of the nine …

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by Emelina Perez

A bipartisan group of 10 US Senators on Tuesday introduced legislation aimed at implementing mandatory sanctions against Russia for its involvement in cyber hacking during the 2016 presidential election. The US government has alleged that Russia intentionally tried to interfere with the US election in favor of one of the candidates by releasing a string of …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a trial court's ruling ordering special elections in North Carolina. The court granted a stay of the order of the US District court for the Middle District of North Carolina, which ruled that North Carolina must redraw congressional districts by March 15, 2017, and hold special primary …

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by Justin Cosgrove

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered his first formal briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday. In the briefing, Guterres "underlined the need for new, strengthened efforts to build and sustain peace." Guterres stressed that a new approach is needed to start preventing crises instead of responding to them. He advocated stronger emphasis on prevention, conflict …

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by Jonathan Niznansky

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's brother, Ban Ki Sang, and nephew, Joo Hyun Bahn, were indicted Tuesday by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York on bribery charges in an elaborate international case. The defendants in the case, who include American Malcolm Harris, allegedly bribed a foreign official in a Middle East nation …

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by Miracle Jones

US President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday called for congress to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with a suitable alternative. In a call with the New York Times on Tuesday, Trump stated that the ACA needs to be replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid issues with the 2018 …

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by Jonathan Niznansky

German automaker Volkswagen (VW) confirmed] Tuesday that it had reached a $4.3 billion dollar settlement in the US in which it will plead guilty to criminal charges that it violated the Clean Air Act and obstructed justice. The $4.3 billion figure [Reuters report is just part of the $20 billion the scandal has cost VWso far. …

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by Miracle Jones

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Utah on Tuesday refused to dismiss a complaint against the National Security Agency (NSA) over allegations of warrantless surveillance during the 2002 winter Olympic games. The case includes individuals who allege their communication devices were searched and seized by the NSA during …

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