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Legal news from Friday, February 2, 2018
by Patrick Sherry

The US Court of Appeals for the Six Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection method on Thursday, just two weeks prior to a scheduled execution. The case stemmed from two death row inmates attempting to prevent their pending executions, claiming that Ohio's midazolam-based, three-drug execution protocol presents a constitutionally unacceptable risk of pain and suffering. The …

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by Elizabeth Lowman

Federal district judge Sam Cummings on Thursday ruled that an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guideline limiting employers' use of criminal background checks in the hiring process is unenforceable. Texas, the plaintiff, claimed that the guideline was issued without notice and comment, overstepped the EEOC's authority, and was an "unreasonable interpretation" of Title VII …

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by Patrick Sherry

US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), with approval from President Trump, declassified and released a memo on Friday claiming that the FBI overstepped their surveillance authority while investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The release of the memo stems from a dossier compiled by a longtime FBI source who allegedly was paid …

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by Erik Slobe

Amnesty International (AI) released a report on Thursday detailing continued abuses by Australia against refugees being held on Manus Island. In October 31, 2017, Australia withdrew support services for the refugee detention center, including shutting off power, water, food and medical supplies to the center. AI claims this was done to force the refugees …

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by Elizabeth Lowman

The UN expressed concern Thursday about human rights abuses in Mali despite the Malian government signing a peace agreement in 2015 with several armed groups. The UN monitored the situation in Mali from January 2015 to June 2017, finding 600 cases of human rights abuses, plus 800 more involving "unidentified armed elements." Around 2,700 victims were …

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by Austin Koltonowski

The International Court of Justice on Friday ordered Nicaragua to pay Costa Rica nearly USD $380,000 for environmental damage to a protected wetland in the border area near the San Juan River. Nicaragua removed close to 300 trees and cleared 6.19 hectares of vegetation, resulting in Costa Rica's claim that, due to the change in ecological …

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by Brittney Zeller

A federal judge on Thursday struck down Florida's process for restoring voter rights to former felons, finding that it was unconstitutional. Florida citizens are automatically disenfranchised after being convicted of a felony under the Florida Constitution. Former felons must wait a period of five to seven years from the completion of their sentence, including post-incarceration probation, and …

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by Erin McCarthy Holliday

The UN Security Council said in a statement Wednesday that they are in support of reviewing and adjusting priorities in its Darfur Peacekeeping Operation, underlining the need for sustainable solutions for more than 2.7 million people displaced within the region. The 15-member organ, headed by Kairat Umarov (of Kazakhstan), Council President for January, called for enhanced …

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