Legal news from Tuesday, October 26, 2004
21:10 EDT

[JURIST] Washington DC-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo (profile from BBC News here) reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in Virginia on Tuesday, at least temporarily avoiding the death penalty. Malvo pleaded guilty in the slaying of Philadelphia businessman Kenneth Bridges, and accepted a sentence of life in prison without parole. [read more]

21:10 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, President Bush has signed the Water Supply Reliability and Environmental Improvement Act, known as CALFED, into law. The act provides up up to $389 million for environmental restoration and enhancement of the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary. CALFED operates as a collaboration between [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday overturned a Michigan court ruling that had required that ballots cast in the state in erroneous voting precincts be counted alongside those cast correctly. Provisional ballots are used when voters say they are registered but their names do not appear on [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] A New Jersey judge ruled Tuesday that the state's voters will be able to cast their ballots in next Tuesday's election using electronic voting machines, despite the objections of voting rights activists. Superior Court of Mercer County Judge Linda Feinberg cited in her opinion recent problems with paper ballots, [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court has, without comment, declined to put independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot in Ohio. Nader had asked the high court to review Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's decision to remove him from the ballot. Nader argued that the Ohio state law which [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court Judge James Lawrence King held Tuesday that Florida election officials will not have to process incomplete voter registration forms for the presidential election. Judge King found that the three prospective voters backed by the AFL-CIO and Advancement Project did not have legal standing to pursue the [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] India's Supreme Court has approved a compensation plan for the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster that killed more than 14,000 people. In July, the Supreme Court had ordered the central bank to pay the victims but no payments had been made. The plan calls for 15.67 billion rupees (343.5 million [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] A US District Judge in Colorado today dismissed for lack of standing a lawsuit which had challenged the Colorado electoral college amendment on the November state ballot. If passed next week, Amendment 36 [PDF] would award a share of electoral votes based on the popular vote instead of the [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Israeli Knesset has approved a bill authorizing an Israeli withdrawal from settlements in Gaza and part of the West Bank. JURIST carried the webcast of the debate and vote live from the Knesset.UPDATE: The Knesset vote was 67-45, with seven abstentions. BBC News now has more. Israeli Prime [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, Marsh & McLennan Cos., the large insurance broker currently under investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, has announced that the company will reform its business practices and stop accepting fees that Spitzer complained amounted to bid-rigging. The new plan comes [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the placement on the November 2 ballot of a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage against a challenge brought by the ACLU of Georgia and several other groups. The court, by a 5-2 margin, ruled that the courts could not intervene in the referendum [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Israeli High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had the right to fire ministers for political reasons if necessary to ensure the government operated effectively. Two National Union ministers, Binyamin Elon and Avigdor Lieberman, had challenged their June dismissal in the days before a [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] US officials have disclosed a legal opinion in which Department of Justice lawyers conclude for the first time that the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilian persons in time of war does not apply to non-Iraqi detainees held by the US in Iraq, a conclusion questioned by [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] Indonesian Judge Adullah Sidiq sentenced Rusman Gunawan to four years imprisonment Tuesday for helping fund a bombing committed in Jakarta last year. Gunawan is the brother of alleged South East Asian militant leader Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali (profile here), alleged head of the Jemaah Islamiah (profile here), [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Communications Commission Tuesday approved the proposed merger of Cingular and AT&T Wireless, only a day after the acquisition was OK'd by the Department of Justice (see this Paper Chase report). The conditional approval clears the way for the $41 billion plan, which will make Cingular the largest [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission said Tuesday that Oracle can go ahead with its hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft. Tuesday's ruling follows last month's US District Court decision (reported here on JURIST's Paper Chase) to deny the US Justice Department's request to issue an injunction blocking the hostile takeover. Paper Chase [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] A new US rule requiring machine-readable passports from visitors from 27 visa waiver countries takes effect Tuesday. Visitors affected by the new rule who arrive without the correct type of passport will be granted a one-time exemption from the rule. The US State Department has background on the new [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Central Command announced Tuesday that Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit this week distributed over $570,000 in condolence and collateral damage repair payments to Iraqis caught in the crossfire during August 2003 fighting in Najaf. Tuesday's announcement follows a Dayton Daily News report that the majority of [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Lithuanian criminal court has cleared former President Rolandas Paksas of charges of leaking state secrets to Russian-born businessman Yuri Borisov. Lithuania's parliament voted to impeach Paksas in April following a Constitutional Court ruling that Paksas violated the constitution by arranging citizenship for and leaking classified information to Borisov. [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, have challenged a subpoena ordering him to answer questions from Equatorial Guinea prosecutors about his role in a suspected coup plot in EG. Thatcher was arrested in South Africa on charges of contravening South Africa's Foreign Military [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Ohio Republican Party has threatened to sue county elections boards that reject the party's voter registration challenges because the challenges were improperly filed. Franklin and other Ohio counties have rejected some of the GOP challenges to newly registered voters because the incorrect precinct for the voter was listed, [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that officials in Afghanistan have said that the vote count is complete in the country's presidential election and that Hamid Karzai won a majority.UPDATE: Election officials said Tuesday that Hamid Karzai is the clear winner in Afghanistan's presidential election even though some ballot boxes were "obviously [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Tuesday, October 26.DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo is expected to plead guilty today to capital murder and attempted capital murder in Virginia's Spotsylvania County. Malvo will be sentenced to life in prison without parole. [read more]

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