Legal news from Wednesday, April 16, 2008
19:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US government will begin collecting DNA samples [JURIST report] from every person arrested under federal laws, a Department of Justice spokesman said Wednesday. Federal agencies are authorized to collect DNA samples under a 2006 amendment [PDF text] to the Violence Against Women Act, but previously had only collected [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia are chafing under increasingly strict regulations implemented under legislation signed into law [JURIST report] in April 2006 by Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website], rights groups told AP Wednesday in the wake of a Tuesday compliance deadline. The groups say they expect the Russian [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for former Italian Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) [official website] chief Nicolo Pollari said Wednesday that they have included Italian Prime Minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile] as a requested witness to testify in support of Pollari's assertion that he was not involved in a reported 2003 CIA kidnapping [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] Several US states announced Wednesday that they would resume executions by lethal injection after the Supreme Court's decision upholding Kentucky's lethal injection protocol [JURIST report] earlier in the day. Virginia lifted its death penalty moratorium [press release] and Oklahoma's attorney general said he would seek to schedule executions for [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein [AP materials; JURIST news archive] was released from custody Wednesday by US military forces in Iraq. Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, deputy commanding general for detainee operations for the Multi National Force–Iraq [official website], signed an order approving Hussein's release Monday after confirming that [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Court of Australia Wednesday ruled [judgment text] against former Guantanamo detainee Mamdouh Habib [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in an ongoing claim for compensation against the Australian government, which he accused of being complicit in torture he allegedly suffered while held in US custody. Habib had alleged [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Kennedy v. Louisiana [Duke Law case backgrounder, merit briefs], 07-343, where the Supreme Court considered whether the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment when imposed for a crime in which the victim [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Joan A. Lenard Wednesday declared a second mistrial in a terrorism prosecution [JURIST report] of six men charged with conspiring [DOJ press release] to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami after the jury was unable to reach a verdict after [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union (EU) [official website] must do more to ensure that those responsible for war crimes committed during the 1991-1995 Croatian War of Independence are brought to justice, Amnesty International [advocacy website] said Tuesday. Amnesty called on the EU [press release] to use Croatia's status as an EU [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] Zimbabwean police have arrested more than 50 members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] after the party called for a strike to protest the nondisclosure of the results of the March 29 presidential elections [JURIST report], a party spokesperson said Wednesday. Zimbabwe police say that [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Wednesday that lethal injection [JURIST news archive] does not violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling came in Baze v. Rees [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], where lawyers for Kentucky death row inmate [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down decisions in three cases Wednesday, including Burgess v. US [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], where the Court held that a defendant's federal drug sentence can be enhanced under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) [text] when the defendant [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Peru on Tuesday upheld a prison sentence [JURIST report] for former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who was convicted late last year on charges of abuse of authority for ordering a warrantless search of the apartment of the wife of former [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] US federal prosecutors defended the prison treatment of accused enemy combatant Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri [Brennan Center case materials; NYT profile] in documents filed Tuesday with the US Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit. Prosecutors say that although al-Marri is kept in solitary confinement, he has access to [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] An Iranian appeals court Tuesday upheld the sentences [JURIST report] of three Iranian students on charges of insulting Islam. Majid Tavakoli, Ahmed Ghassaban, and Ehsan Mansouri were arrested last year for allegedly publishing anti-Islamic material in multiple newspapers. The three were sentenced to 22 to 30 months in prison. [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in Zimbabwe on Wednesday cleared two foreign journalists of charges of reporting on the country's March 29 presidential election [JURIST report] without obtaining proper credentials. Barry Bearak of the New York Times and Stephen Bevan of Britain's Telegraph were arrested [CPJ press release; JURIST report] in early [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] Officials from the US Department of State and the Department of Defense testified Tuesday in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official websites], calling for the Senate to ratify five long-postponed treaties that would provide increased protection for civilians during wartime. State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger III [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] A military judge Tuesday postponed the scheduled April 28 court-martial for a US Marine charged in connection with the November 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive], rescheduling the trial for June 17. According to lawyers for Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani [JURIST [read more]

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