Legal news from Thursday, August 17, 2006
19:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] on Thursday sided with several states and the federal government [opinion, PDF] when it found that energy company Cinergy Corp. [corporate website] should have gone through a federal permit process prior to increasing their pollutant output after modernizing [read more]

18:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle [official profile] of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled [PDF text] Thursday that the confessions of three Rwandan rebels charged with killing two American tourists in Uganda were achieved through torture and coercion and ruled that the confessions are [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled Thursday that the tobacco industry [JURIST news archive] is liable for civil racketeering charges filed against the industry by the DOJ in 1999. Federal prosecutors filed suit [DOJ materials] under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) [text], claiming that tobacco companies conspired to [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] A New Jersey state court on Thursday vacated a November verdict finding Merck not liable [JURIST report] for the heart attack of Frederick Humeston, who suffered a heart attack in September 2001 after taking Merck's painkiller Vioxx [Merck Vioxx Information Center website; JURIST news archive] for less than 18 [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] The New Hampshire Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional [opinion text, PDF] a state voting law that lists the election candidate of the winning party in the preceding state general election first on the ballot. The New Hampshire voting statute [RSA656:5 text] provides: "[t]he first [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Thursday signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006 [HR 4 materials; AP summary], which he called the "most sweeping reform" of US pension law since the enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) [text] in 1974. The bill, passed by the Senate [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury sitting in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday found David Passaro [Raleigh News and Observer materials] guilty of abusing a detainee in Afghanistan [JURIST report]. The jury convicted Passaro on three misdemeanor counts of simple assault and one felony count of assault resulting in bodily injury, after [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] Delaware must make their public documents available to residents of other states, according to a ruling [PDF text] handed down Wednesday by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Delaware's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] as written prevents non-residents from accessing Delaware public records, but the [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] A Moscow court on Thursday sentenced former Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] security chief Alexei Pichugin [Wikipedia profile] to 24 years in prison for organizing a series of contract killings, including the 1998 murder of Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Nefteyugansk. Prosecutors filed the murder charges [JURIST report] [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive; US DOJ Q/A, PDF] is unconstitutional and has ordered the National Security Agency [official website] to immediately cease using warrantless wiretaps to intercept communications of suspected terrorists [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury in New Orleans on Thursday found Merck [corporate website] negligent for failing to warn doctors about the risks associated with taking the painkiller Vioxx [Merck Vioxx Information Center website; JURIST news archive] and found that Merck knowingly misrepresented the risks involved. The verdict comes in the [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon [official profile] on Wednesday filed a notice of appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit [official website], and told reporters that he intends to appeal a federal court ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] granting summary judgment to a class action [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations has opened an investigation into a suspected child prostitution ring in the Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive] facilitated by UN peacekeepers and Congo soldiers, the UN Mission in DR Congo (MONUC) [official website] said Thursday. There have been claims that UN peacekeepers have aided [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Peruvian prosecutors have filed informal charges against Ollanta Humala [COHA profile; BBC report], the opposition leader who narrowly lost the recent presidential election [BBC report] to Alan Garcia, for murder, torture and kidnapping stemming from his position as an army captain in Peru's San Martin province during the 1990s. [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] British authorities investigating a foiled terror plot [JURIST report; Met press release] to bomb airplanes crossing the Atlantic Ocean last week released a suspect without charge on Thursday. The suspect was arrested [JURIST report] Tuesday. London's Metropolitan Police Service (Met) [official website] did not explain details of the suspect's [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] A US Marine has been charged with three counts of assault and one count of making a false statement in connection with an incident occurring on April 10 near the village of Hamdania in Iraq, according to a Marine spokesman speaking Wednesday. Lt. Nathan Phan allegedly beat and choked [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Indonesian authorities on Thursday shortened prison sentences for 10 people convicted in connection with the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC report] that killed over 200 people. Nine prisoners with sentences between five and 16 years had their sentences cut by four months for good behavior. A tenth had his [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] agreed Wednesday to hold a conscience vote on a stem cell research bill allowing therapeutic cloning if a private bill is offered to parliament. A conscience vote [SAVES backgrounder] is a free parliamentary vote in which members are not bound by party [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday rejected a number of complaints concerning congressional races in the July 2 Mexican general election [Wikipedia backgrounder] that paralleled the presidential poll [JURIST news archive] currently subject to a court-ordered partial recount [JURIST report]. Under the newly-approved seat distribution, [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury in Raleigh, North Carolina reached a partial verdict Wednesday in the trial [JURIST report] of David Passaro [Raleigh News and Observer materials], a CIA contractor accused of abusing a detainee in Afghanistan [indictment; JURIST report], but US District Judge Terrence Boyle [official profile] sealed the decision [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] on Wednesday praised new British anti-terrorism laws [UK Home Office materials] that helped thwart a terror plot [JURIST report] to explode jetliners traveling over the Atlantic Ocean, saying that the provision that allows British authorities to detain terror suspects for up to [read more]

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