Legal news from Wednesday, November 15, 2006
21:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Marine Corps Pfc. John J. Jodka III [advocacy website] was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in military custody for his role in the murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] last spring. Jodka, one of eight servicemen originally charged in connection with the [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury sitting in New Orleans ruled Wednesday that Merck & Co. [corporate website], makers of the painkiller Vioxx [JURIST news archive] that was withdrawn from the market [Merck announcement] after it was found to expose users to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, was not liable [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Former Enron [JURIST news archive] accounting chief Richard Causey [CBS profile] received a 66-month prison sentence Wednesday for authorizing bookkeeping practices that allowed Enron to defraud investors of billions of dollars. Under the original slate of 35 charges against him, Causey had faced up to 20 years in prison. [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Saifullah Paracha [advocacy website; Wikipedia profile], a multimillionaire from Pakistan in US custody at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], petitioned a federal court Wednesday to enjoin the US military from performing a cardiac catheterization [AHA backgrounder] because the facility there lacks sufficient medical equipment and the backup [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The High Court of Ireland [official website] held Wednesday that the protection of an unborn's right to life under Article 40 of the Irish Constitution [PDF text] does not include the preservation of embryos frozen as a part of infertility treatment. Article 40, Section 3.3 says:The State acknowledges the [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan's National Assembly [official website], the lower house of parliament, passed the 2006 Protection of Women Bill [BBC report] Wednesday, transferring rape case jurisdiction from religious Sharia [Wikipedia backgrounder] courts to civil courts. The bill also classifies rape under the penal code and makes it easier for women in [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Shaun Hansen, former owner of the telemarketing firm Mylo Enterprises Inc., pleaded guilty to two federal counts of conspiracy to commit interstate telephone harassment on Wednesday for his involvement in the New Hampshire GOP's 2002 phone jamming plot [Wikipedia backgrounder] against the state's Democratic Senate candidates. Prosecutors alleged that [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Spc. James P. Barker pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in the Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya") area in March. Barker, who will be spared from capital punishment as a [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official profile] Wednesday rejected his cabinet's approval [JURIST report] of a UN draft proposal [JURIST report] for an international judicial tribunal to try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. Lahoud said the measure was invalid [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Labour Party government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged Wednesday to "put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system [and] support the police and all those responsible for the public's safety" in its new legislative agenda [PM materials; BBC backgrounder] for the 2006-2007 session of [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US decision to build a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexican border [JURIST news archive] is "inhumane," a senior Vatican [official website] official said Tuesday while delivering Pope Benedict XVI's yearly message on migrants [text]. Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican's Council on Migrant and Itinerant People [official [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged the existence of a memorandum, signed by President Bush, that authorizes the detention and interrogation of terror suspects overseas [ACLU press release] in a letter [PDF text] sent to the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU requested the memo in a FOIA [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Nepal newspaper reported Tuesday that a blue-ribbon panel investigating possible human rights violations in the police response to anti-democracy protests [JURIST news archive] last spring that left 22 dead and more than 5,000 wounded will blame King Gyanendra for the crackdown. The report may undergo revisions before it [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Vice President Dick Cheney and his former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive] asked a federal court Tuesday to dismiss the civil lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] brought against them and other current and former administration officials by Valerie Plame, the undercover [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to uphold a lower court ruling [brief, PDF; press release] that the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional, arguing that the program is an unconstitutional intrusion on privacy and free speech and [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday began serving his six-year prison sentence on fraud and conspiracy charges. Abramoff will serve his sentence at a minimum-security facility in Cumberland, MD, a location close to the Washington, DC prosecutors who are using Abramoff's testimony to bring a corruption case [read more]

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