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Legal news from Thursday, March 18, 2010
16:03 EDT

[JURIST] New Jersey same-sex couples who previously sued for marriage equality filed suit [motion, PDF] again Thursday seeking to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The case is being brought [press release] on behalf of six couples and the surviving partner of a seventh by Lambda Legal [advocacy website]. They [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish police detained 20 people Thursday in connection with the alleged Ergenekon [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] conspiracy to overthrow the Islamist-rooted government. Among those arrested [Reuters report] are retired and active military officers, but the identities and ranks of the individuals have not been released. The arrests are [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Togo [official website, in French] on Wednesday affirmed [Embassy press release, PDF] the election of incumbent President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe [official profile] despite five suits alleging voter fraud filed by the opposition. The court held [AFP report] that the accusations made by the opposition were [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Thursday affirmed [judgment, PDF; press release] the genocide conviction of popular Rwandan singer-songwriter Simon Bikindi [Trial Watch profile, case materials]. The charge was based on a speech Bikindi gave during the 1994 Rwanda genocide [HRW [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Myanmar authorities on Thursday released [advocacy press release, PDF] jailed democracy activist Nyi Nyi Aung [advocacy profile], ordering him to leave the country. Aung, a US citizen, had been sentenced to three years in prison [JURIST report] after being convicted on fraud and forgery charges [JURIST report] by a [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Hebei Province People's High Court in northern China on Wednesday upheld [China Daily report] a life sentence for former vice president of China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) [official website, in Chinese] Huang Songyou. Huang was convicted [JURIST report] in January of bribery and embezzlement, and sentenced to life [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The number of inmates in US state prisons has dropped for the first time in 40 years, according to a report [text] released Wednesday by the Pew Center on the States [advocacy website]. Led by California and Michigan, the state prison population decreased by 0.4 percent during 2009. Because [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] unanimously passed legislation [S 1789 materials] Wednesday to reduce sentencing disparities for powder and crack cocaine [JURIST news archive] offenses. The Fair Sentencing Act, introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) [official website], would amend existing law to reduce the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Idaho Governor CL "Butch" Otter (R) [official website] on Wednesday became the first governor to sign a bill [H 391 text] into state law banning any federal mandate for individuals to have health insurance. The Idaho Health Freedom Act orders the state attorney general to file a lawsuit against [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website] released its Annual Report on Human Rights 2009 [text, PDF] Wednesday, noting the increasing demand for human rights by citizens throughout the world. The report also cited the contrasting argument by some governments that human rights are merely a Western [read more]

06:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that a Pennsylvania prosecutor cannot file child pornography charges against a teenage girl whose topless photo was found on a number of her schoolmates' cell phones, upholding a preliminary injunction. Wyoming County prosecutor George [read more]

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