Legal news from Friday, December 15, 2006
17:12 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge issued a memorandum of intended decision [PDF text] Friday, concluding that California's lethal injection procedure creates "an undue and unnecessary risk" of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment [text] of the US Constitution. The memorandum came in the case of condemned killer [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] The war crimes Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] convicted its third defendant in one week on Friday when it sentenced [press release] Dragan Damjanovic to twenty years in prison. Damjanovic was found guilty on six of the seven counts of crimes against humanity listed in his indictment [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Florida Governor Jeb Bush [official website] suspended all executions in the state Friday after a medical examiner said that the execution of Angel Diaz [Amnesty profile] earlier this week was botched. Diaz endured a 34-minute-long execution and medical examiner Dr. William Hamilton said Friday that preliminary autopsy results showed [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] European leaders are pushing to revive the European Constitution [JURIST news archive] after its ratification by the Finnish parliament [JURIST report] last week. Leaders of Spain and Luxembourg have called a conference in January for the sixteen EU member states that ratified the Constitution, as well as Bulgaria and [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors have charged [press release] sixteen Bosnian Serb immigrants with immigration fraud for allegedly lying about their military experiences during the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, the US Department of Justice [official website] announced Friday. One of those charged is accused of leading a Bosnian Serb unit that [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile], chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court [official website], told the UN Security Council Thursday that his investigation [ICC materials] into crimes committed in Darfur [JURIST news archive] is almost complete, noting that he is "preparing to submit evidence to the ICC judges no later [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] An Alabama jury returned a verdict in favor of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. [corporate website] on Friday, concluding that the drug Vioxx [JURIST news archive] did not cause the plaintiff in the case to suffer a heart attack. The jury also found that Merck did not withhold information [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Friday denied bail for the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Roy Belfast Jr. and Charles Taylor Jr., was charged [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] last week with committing torture in the first prosecution brought under a federal anti-torture [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Joseph Nzabirinda [ICTY case file], a Rwandan businessman charged in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide, pleaded guilty to murder as a crime against humanity [press release] Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website]. Nzabirinda was initially charged [indictment, PDF] with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State John Bellinger [official profile] told the Daily Telegraph on Friday that Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees considered an ongoing threat to security will remain in custody indefinitely, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to try them before a military [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State John Bellinger [official profile] told the Daily Telegraph on Friday that Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees considered an ongoing threat to security will remain in custody indefinitely, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to try them before a military [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Defense counsel for alleged terrorist Jose Padilla [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] have filed a motion asking a federal judge in Miami to hold a hearing to decide whether or not Padilla is competent to stand trial. Recent evaluations of Padilla by a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist suggest that [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Ireland's High Court has refused to recognize the same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] of a lesbian couple married in Canada in 2003. Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone sued to force Ireland to recognize their marriage, performed in British Columbia after same-sex marriage was legalized in the province. High [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton [official profile] on Thursday called for international criminal charges to be brought against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile; BBC profile] for inciting genocide against Christians and Jews. While speaking at a Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations symposium, [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Spanish parliament began debating the proposed Law for the Recovery of the Historical Memory [JURIST report] Thursday, legislation aimed at healing the wounds of Gen. Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime [BBC backgrounder; LOC backgrounder] that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 following a bitter three-year civil war. The bill [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier [BBC profile] on Thursday denied any knowledge of the alleged CIA kidnapping of German national Khaled el-Masri [JURIST news archive; ACLU case materials] until after the man was released. Steinmeier, who has previously denied that Germany aided the CIA [JURIST report] in kidnapping el-Masri, [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Dutch Parliament [official website] voted Thursday to strip Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk [official website] of responsibility for setting immigration policy and to temporarily halt the deportation of failed asylum seekers. Verdonk, known domestically as the "Iron Lady" for her tough anti-immigration initiatives, will now be responsible for integration [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Justice Department lawyers have asked a federal appeals court to overturn an October district court ruling [PDF text] ordering the Secret Service [official website] to release visitor logs [JURIST report] for the personal residence and office of Vice-President Dick Cheney [official website; JURIST news archive]. US District Judge [read more]

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