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Legal news from Monday, December 10, 2007
19:12 EDT

[JURIST] The New Jersey Senate Monday voted 21-16 to pass a bill [S171 text, PDF] that would abolish the death penalty [JURIST news archive] in the state and replace capital punishment with life in prison. The New Jersey Assembly [official website] is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday [JURIST [read more]

18:12 EDT

[JURIST] The judge presiding over the embezzlement proceedings against relatives of the late former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive; BBC profile] stepped down from the case Monday after the defendants' lawyers accused him of bias. The Santiago Court of Appeals has not yet decided whether it will accept [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of human rights abuses for allegedly ordering the 1992 murder of 25 people, including a professor and nine students at the so-called La Cantuta massacre [backgrounder] at Lima's La Cantuta University. If convicted, [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu [Nobel profile] Monday criticized the United States and Great Britain for detaining terror suspects without trial, describing the practice as "a huge blot on democracy". He expressed surprise at the ease with which people had accepted government assertions that the indefinite [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi government is mulling pardons for several thousand convicted insurgents, Iraqi government officials said Monday. A committee is being formed to draw up guidelines for issuing the pardons, including which offenses would be eligible for pardons and whether parliamentary approval would be required; a Sunni official from the [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder], who is standing before a military trial in Egypt on money laundering and terror charges, Monday denounced the proceedings against him as a "farce." Deputy guide for the Brotherhood Khairat al-Shatir [BBC report] was among those Muslim Brotherhood [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian-born financier and former media mogul Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] was sentenced in a US federal court in Chicago Monday to 78 months in prison and ordered to pay $125,000 and forfeit another $1 million for his July conviction [JURIST report] on mail fraud and obstruction [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] A German state court in Hesse on Monday upheld a ban on religious headscarves for public school teachers and civil servants. The government in Hesse [government website], which includes Frankfurt, passed the headscarf ban [JURIST news archive] in 2004. The ban includes other items of clothing which could be [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] A defense lawyer for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] said Monday that the former vice presidential chief of staff will drop his appeal of his conviction [JURIST reports] in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive]. Libby was convicted in March of perjury and obstruction [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Thousands of lawyers and judges in Turkey [JURIST news archive] protested a new law Sunday that they believe will undermine judicial independence by changing the appointment process for judges and prosecutors. The new law requires a justice ministry interview as part of the appointment process, which critics believe will [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] A majority of members of the Bolivian Constitutional Assembly [official website] on Sunday approved a new draft constitution [JURIST news archive] Sunday, despite a boycott by members of the main opposition party. Only 153 of 255 assembly members voted in favor of the new constitution, falling short of the [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down decisions in three cases Monday, including Kimbrough v. United States [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], where the Court overturned a federal appeals court ruling on whether a federal judge has discretion to sentence a defendant to a [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] A Canadian jury convicted Robert William Pickton [CBC case backgrounder] Sunday of second degree murder for the deaths of six women in the 1990s. He was found not guilty of first degree murder, with the jury concluding that the killings were not planned. Pickton, accused of murdering 26 women [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Three new judges were appointed to the reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Monday, bringing the regular membership of the court up to 14, including Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. Pakistan's Law Ministry said in a statement that the new judges are Justice Mian Hamid Farooq and Justice [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for several detainees at Guantanamo Bay filed an emergency motion [PDF text] Sunday asking a federal judge to look into the CIA's destruction of videotapes [JURIST report] showing the interrogations of terror suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledged [statement text] last week that the CIA had videotaped the [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] A Chadian judge has determined that 10 defendants will stand trial in criminal court in connection with the abortive effort by French charity Zoe's Ark [advocacy website, in French; BBC backgrounder] to airlift so-called "Darfur orphans" out of Chad [JURIST news archive], a lawyer told AFP Monday. The investigative [read more]

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