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Legal news from Tuesday, November 20, 2007
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US prison population is currently eight times as high as it was in 1970, but zealous prosecution and tough sentencing guidelines have done little to curb crime, according to a report [PDF text] released Monday by the JFA Institute [advocacy website], a Washington criminal justice research group. The [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) [official website; official backgrounder] Tuesday joined calls to suspend Pakistan from the Commonwealth in light of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule [JURIST report], suspension of the constitution and effective dismissal of the country's top judges. CHRI, which monitors human rights [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Judges dismissed from the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] and held under virtual house arrest in the wake of President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report] are now "free to move" and leave their homes, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Igbal Cheema said Tuesday. Justice [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Three Pakistan Supreme Court judges removed from their positions after President Pervez Musharraf issued his declaration of emergency rule early this month have ruled against his eligibility to run for re-election as president while still Army chief of staff, according to a report Tuesday in Pakistan's News daily. A [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pennsylvania's lethal injection protocol [JURIST news archive] creates an "unnecessary risk of pain and suffering" in violation of the Eighth Amendment, a lawyer for three death row convicts challenging the procedure said Tuesday. On November 9, lawyer David Rudovsky filed suit in the US District Court for the Eastern [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday granted certiorari in two cases [order list, PDF] and postponed jurisdiction in a third case. In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Supreme Court will consider whether the Second Amendment [text] to the [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] A UK judge Tuesday sentenced Manfo Kwaku Asiedu [BBC profile] to 33 years' imprisonment for his role in the July 21, 2005 failed bomb attacks on London's transit systems [JURIST news archive]. Earlier this month, Asiedu pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to a charge of conspiracy to cause explosions and [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese government on Tuesday began fingerprinting and photographing foreign visitors, pursuant to an anti-terror bill [BBC report] that was approved by Japan's upper house of parliament [JURIST report] in May. If the government determines that a visitor poses a terrorist threat or if they refuse to comply with [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Prosecutor General's Office [official website, in Russian] said Monday that Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak is being investigated for allegedly attempting to embezzle $43.3 million in state funds. Storchak has been detained to prevent him from destroying evidence or intimidating witnesses, according to prosecutors. Storchak was [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Peru [official website, in Spanish] delayed the trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] Monday, granting a request by Fujimori's lawyers for additional preparation time and setting the new trial date for December 10. Fujimori is facing human rights charges [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [official website] agreed Tuesday to a new charter that will unite members into an economic bloc similar to the European Union, but faced criticism for the charter's weak stance on human rights. Article 14 of the charter [PDF text] establishes [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday held its first public hearing, considering the appeal of Kaing Guek Eav [TrialWatch profile], better known as "Duch," against his eight-year pre-trial detention. Duch argued that the tribunal risked violating international law if [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani authorities have released more than 3400 lawyers and political activists [AFP report] detained in the aftermath of President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report], Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Igbal Cheema told AFP Tuesday, adding that some 2000 others still in custody would be released [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] A US federal grand jury has opened an investigation into Blackwater USA [corporate website] employees involved in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians during a September 16 incident [JURIST report] that took place in West Baghdad, ABC News reported Monday. Several Blackwater guards have been subpoenaed to testify, though [read more]

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