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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Feb 04, 2013 Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
QUOTE: A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens
NBC News Dec 02, 2012 Collaboration in Gaza Leads to Grisly Fate
QUOTE: Last month’s extrajudicial killings...were a stark departure from Hamas’s efforts since then to pursue collaborators in court and not the street, spotlighting its dilemma as a movement rooted in militant resistance now trying to run a government. The Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military arm, claimed responsibility for the killings, but some party leaders condemned them.
New York Times Apr 17, 2012 DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency
QUOTE: Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents, to ensure that “no defendant’s right to a fair trial was jeopardized,”...The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Not the results of its case reviews of suspect lab work. Not the names of the defendants who were convicted as a result. And not the nature or scope of the forensic problems it found. Those decisions more than a decade ago remain relevant today for hundreds of people still in the U.S. court system, because officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes.
Washington Post Mar 26, 2012 Trayvon's killing and Florida's tragic past
QUOTE: No matter the state, the circumstances are eerily familiar: a slaying. Minimal police investigation. A suspect known to authorities. No arrest. Protests and outrage in a racially charged atmosphere. Florida is known for its amusement parks, beaches and pensioners from the North. But history bears out that Florida has been as much a part of the South and its vigilante-enforced racial caste system as Georgia and Alabama.
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 24, 2011 In New Jersey, Rules Are Changed on Witness IDs
QUOTE: The New Jersey Supreme Court, acknowledging a “troubling lack of reliability in eyewitness identifications,” issued sweeping new rules on Wednesday making it easier for defendants to challenge such evidence in criminal cases.
New York Times Aug 19, 2011 Deal Frees ‘West Memphis Three’ in Arkansas
QUOTE: While many were convinced of the guilt of Mr. Echols, the alleged ringleader, others were immediately skeptical, believing he was singled out for being an outsider in a small town.
New York Times Jun 13, 2011 Bahrain doctors go on trial, alleging torture to extract confessions
QUOTE: Prosecutors alleged Monday that automatic weapons and ammunition were discovered in the hospital, that the defendants "hijacked" the hospital building and controlled it...Activists and human rights groups allege that the medical workers are being prosecuted for treating protesters.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 23, 2011 Russian Justice (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: ...Russia wants the world to believe that it abides by the rule of law. “It has a Constitution, courts, judges and established procedures,” said Pavel Ivlev, one of Khodorkovsky’s lawyers. But, Ivlev adds, “You also have the reality that everything is controlled by Putin and his friends.”
New York Times Dec 27, 2010 Former Russian Tycoon Is Again Convicted
QUOTE: Seven years ago, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, Russia’s richest man, was jailed after challenging the authority of Vladimir V. Putin, who wanted the country’s post-Soviet tycoons to stop meddling in politics. On Monday, Mr. Khodorkovsky, still behind bars, was convicted on new charges of embezzlement in a case that has been widely viewed as an indicator of whether Russia will take even modest steps toward establishing a real rule of law.
New York Times May 18, 2010 Somalia pirates' clash with Russian navy reveals a gap in rule of law
QUOTE: Pirates are hard to convict because evidence at sea is hard to collect, because ship captains have other priorities and because the nearest working courts, in Kenya and the Seychelles, are overwhelmed by pirate cases. Pirates are also being released because they are learning to work the international legal system...
Washington Post Nov 03, 2009 At Supreme Court: Can prosecutors be sued for framing defendants? Two African-American men wrongly imprisoned for 25 years filed a lawsuit against prosecutors for fabricating evidence against them...
QUOTE: The US Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to consider an unusual question: Do Americans who have been framed by unscrupulous prosecutors for crimes they did not commit have a right to sue the prosecutors when the fraud is finally exposed?
Christian Science Monitor Oct 23, 2009 The Geek Defense: Do criminals with Asperger's syndrome deserve special treatment?
QUOTE: the legal system isn't always consistent in its treatment of criminals with developmental disabilities, and the sentences handed down to autistic defendants can vary widely depending on the court. Asperger's may prove even more challenging than autism, because it lacks the well-defined intellectual deficits that make the latter relatively easy to diagnose. How will a judge determine whether a given diagnosis of Asperger's is scientifically valid, let alone decide how the disorder relates to a particular crime?
Slate Aug 31, 2009 Shrinking Newsrooms Wage Fewer Battles for Public Access to Courtrooms (Sidebar)
QUOTE: You don’t see newspapers fighting to open court proceedings the way they used to, and people are starting to notice.
New York Times Aug 11, 2009 Pro-Democracy Leader in Myanmar Is Convicted
QUOTE: A court in Myanmar sentenced the pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months of additional house arrest Tuesday, drawing widespread condemnation from around the world.
New York Times Aug 10, 2009 As Dubai's Glitter Fades, Foreigners See Dark Side: More Jailings, Prosecutions Follow Downturn
QUOTE: Dubai is still far more free and more predictable than most of its neighbors, but a chill has taken hold as property values tumble, jobs vanish and businessmen are detained.
Washington Post Aug 10, 2009 Rights group criticizes Saudi Arabia's Al Qaeda reeducation program: The vaunted program is supposed to convince militants that Al Qaeda's ideology is un-Islamic. But Human Rights Watch says it violates international law.
QUOTE: Saudi Arabia's much praised rehabilitation program for terror suspects is under fire from the US-based Human Rights Watch because its participants are detained for lengthy periods without charges.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 09, 2009 Tomgram: Jamail and Lazare, Lost in Military Limbo
QUOTE: For soldiers who have gone AWOL (Absent Without Leave) and then voluntarily turned themselves in or were forcibly returned, the detention conditions here in Echo Platoon only serve to reinforce the inescapability of their situation. They remain suspended in a legal limbo of forced uncertainty that can extend from several months to a year or more, while the military takes its time deciding their fate.
TomDispatch Aug 07, 2009 Corrupt Democracy in India
QUOTE: new reports documenting the pervasive abuses committed by the Indian police are providing firsthand evidence not only of warrantless arrests... but also the complicity of parties and political leaders who have turned police and paramilitary forces in a number of [Indian] states into bodyguard agencies and private armies.
Nation Aug 06, 2009 Unjust and ineffective: Sex laws
QUOTE: Many people assume that anyone listed on a sex-offender registry must be a rapist or a child molester. But most states spread the net much more widely
Economist Aug 06, 2009 Cambodian conviction signals crackdown on dissent
QUOTE: Cambodian court found a prominent politician guilty of defaming the country's prime minister Thursday in what analysts call a setback on Cambodia's shaky path to democracy.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 30, 2009 British Foreign Secretary: Clinton threatened to cut-off intelligence-sharing if torture evidence is disclosed
QUOTE: both the Bush and Obama administrations had threatened to cut off intelligence-sharing with Britain if those facts (of the possible torture of former Guantanamo inmate Binyam Mohamed) were disclosed, even as part of a court proceeding.
Salon Jul 27, 2009 U.S. citizens wrongly detained, deported by ICE
QUOTE: [ Hector] Veloz is one of hundreds of U.S. citizens who have landed in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and struggled to prove they don't belong there, according to advocacy groups and legal scholars, who have tracked such cases around the country. Some citizens have been deported.
San Francisco Chronicle Jul 22, 2009 Blackwater Seeks Gag Order
QUOTE: On July 20, the company's [Blackwater] high-powered lawyers from Mayer Brown... filed a motion in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to impose a gag order on Iraqi civilians suing the company.
Nation Jul 06, 2009 In Two States, a Lower Bar for Conviction (Sidebar)
QUOTE: ...Oregon is one of only two states that does not require juries to reach unanimous verdicts in criminal cases. Like Louisiana, it allows convictions by a vote of 10-to-2. ...defense lawyers say the rule was designed to make obtaining convictions easier.
New York Times Jun 19, 2009 Analysis: $1.92M fine in music piracy case could hurt RIAA: Retrial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset ends with massive fine imposed on her
QUOTE: The massive $1.9 million fine imposed by a federal jury yesterday in the retrial of a Minnesota woman [Jammie Thomas-Rasset] accused of pirating 24 songs may could end up hurting the Recording Industry Association of America's anti-piracy campaign... That's because the sheer size of the verdict hammers home just how unreasonable the RIAA's damages theory for copyright infringement is...
Computerworld Jun 17, 2009 Study Finds Immigration Courtrooms Backlogged
QUOTE: Nearly three years after the Justice Department found that the nation’s immigration courts were seriously overburdened... only a few hirings have taken place and the case backlog is at its highest point in a decade...
New York Times Jun 01, 2009 Court to Hear Case on Inmate’s Retardation
ABSTRACT: .... prosecutors in Ohio... new opportunity to prove that a death row inmate there was not retarded... was eligible to be executed.
New York Times May 18, 2009 Death row's revolving door: Courts mull post-trial proof
QUOTE: advocates for the wrongfully convicted say his [death row inmate Troy Davis]case, set for another U.S. Supreme Court appeal this week, represents one of possibly dozens in which courts are reluctant to consider evidence discovered after conviction that might exonerate inmates on death row.
USA TODAY May 17, 2009 Prosecutors Block Access to DNA Testing for Inmates
QUOTE: The laws were enacted after DNA evidence exonerated a first wave of prisoners in the early 1990s, when law enforcement authorities strongly resisted reopening old cases. Continued resistance by prosecutors is causing years of delay and, in some cases, eliminating the chance to try other suspects because the statute of limitations has passed by the time the test is granted.
New York Times Mar 29, 2009 Immigration courts face huge backlog
QUOTE: The nation's immigration courts are now so clogged that nearly 90,000 people accused of being in the United States illegally waited at least two years for a judge to decide whether they must leave
USA TODAY Mar 03, 2009 Should judges step aside when campaign cash is involved? A West Virginia case before the US Supreme Court could clarify when judges must recuse themselves.
QUOTE: At issue is whether a newly elected justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals should have stepped aside in a case involving a coal company executive who spent $3 million to help defeat the former occupant of that justice's seat on the state high court.
Christian Science Monitor Dec 24, 2008 China's Capital Cases Still Secret, Arbitrary
QUOTE: Starting in 2007, China began for the first time in more than two decades to require a final review of every capital case by the Supreme People's Court. The hope was to reduce the number of executions and bring some consistency to a process that had been handled unevenly by lower courts....But in a largely closed legal system directed by party committees, the changes have not been as far-reaching as the statistics suggest, and consistency remains a distant goal.
Washington Post Dec 21, 2008 Extradition Of Terror Suspects Founders: Al-Qaeda Suspects Remain in Britain Years After Arrests
QUOTE: a decade later, none of the defendants has moved any closer to a U.S. courtroom....Britain and other allies have long complained about Guantanamo, the tribunals and extralegal U.S. tactics used to fight al-Qaeda. At the same time, however, they have often blocked or resisted efforts by the U.S. government to prosecute accused terrorists in federal court.
Washington Post Dec 09, 2008 Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess:But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue
QUOTE: Five of the men accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said Monday that they wanted to plead guilty to murder and war crimes but withdrew the offer when a military judge raised questions about whether it would prevent them from fulfilling their desire to receive the death penalty.
Washington Post Dec 09, 2008 Solicitation or Shrewd Tactics? Ethics of Speaking for Ex-Workers
QUOTE: ethical controversy concerning a practice that is not uncommon -- a company's litigation counsel offers to represent, at the company's expense, a former employee who is a witness in pending litigation....while the practice of representing former employees may strike some as unfair, there are substantial arguments why it does not violate the Code of Professional Responsibility's bar on solicitation.
New York Law Journal (NYLJ) Dec 06, 2008 In Iraq, 'a Prison Full of Innocent Men'
QUOTE: As the U.S. military detention system here begins to come under Iraqi control, a complicated joint effort is underway to determine which of the men are safe to release and which may be insurgents. "Most of the people they detain are innocent," said Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi.
Washington Post Nov 11, 2008 Jury in MySpace Cyberbullying Trial Might Not Be Told Of Teen's Suicide
QUOTE: A federal judge in Los Angeles is considering whether to prohibit evidence of a Missouri teen's suicide from being introduced in the trial of a woman charged with creating a MySpace account that was allegedly used to harass the teen.
Wired Oct 21, 2008 Court Spares Afghan Journalist’s Life
QUOTE: An appeals court sentenced a young Afghan journalist to 20 years in prison for blasphemy on Tuesday, overturning a death sentence ordered by a provincial court but raising further concerns of judicial propriety in the case.
New York Times Jul 24, 2008 58 years later, Rosenberg spy case gets another look
QUOTE: After 58 years, historians and journalists will have a chance to examine the secret grand jury testimony of witnesses in the espionage case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg....In an unusual move, federal authorities have said that because of the historic significance of the case, they do not oppose releasing the transcripts of testimony from witnesses who have died or who do not object to their release.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 21, 2008 Saudi Critic Jailed After Decrying Justice System
QUOTE: Matrouk al-Faleh, a professor of political science at King Saud University in Riyadh, the capital, was detained Monday after he left for work, said his wife, Jamila al-Ukla. Over the past year, Faleh has accused the Interior Ministry of disregarding laws that ban arrests without charge and guarantee the right to counsel.
Washington Post May 16, 2008 Cleared by DNA, man tries to reclaim his life
QUOTE: Woodard was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend in 1981 and sentenced to life in prison. He was released on April 29, the 17th Dallas County inmate to be exonerated by DNA testing.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 10, 2008 Judge Drops General From Trial of Detainee
QUOTE: Critics of the military commission system said Friday that the judge’s decision would provide new grounds to attack the system that they say was set up to win convictions.
New York Times May 06, 2008 Justice System For Detainees Is Moving At a Crawl: No Sept. 11 Trials Likely Before Bush Leaves Office, Officials Say
QUOTE: "Some of the detainees haven't even seen their lawyers yet, there's incredibly complicated issues about access to evidence and discovery, and as we've seen with every single case to date, it's incredibly hard to move through a system that lacks established rules and precedent,"...That new system, set up by Congress's Military Commissions Act of 2006, so far has been entangled by numerous motions that challenge its fairness and constitutionality. Military officers presiding over the cases have had to make critical decisions on the fly, including some appealed to another new court created by the same legislation.
Washington Post Apr 22, 2008 A defendant's right to confront accusers: How far does it extend? The Supreme Court's answer could affect some murder, domestic-abuse, and child-molestation cases.
QUOTE: The justices must decide whether the California Supreme Court ruled correctly in allowing the jury to consider allegations made in a police report as reliable evidence, or whether their inclusion in the murder trial violated the defendant's right to confront his accusers.
Christian Science Monitor Mar 12, 2008 House Creates New Panel On Ethics
QUOTE: The House last night approved one of the most significant changes to its ethics rules in decades, creating for the first time an independent panel empowered to initiate investigations of alleged misconduct by members of the chamber.
Washington Post Mar 05, 2008 Ban on Using Nationality to Exclude Jurors Is Upheld
QUOTE: Affirming a magistrate’s ruling, [a federal] judge concluded last week that prosecutors cannot exclude prospective jurors solely on the basis of their national origin.
New York Times Feb 26, 2008 Sidebar: The Right to Counsel, in the Right Situations
QUOTE: Both sorts of restrictions are unusual, and they give rise to this question, as framed by Mr. Moussaoui’s appellate lawyers: “Are federal courts willing to compromise or eliminate core constitutional protections if the indictment arises in the context of a terrorism case?”
New York Times Feb 16, 2008 Moussaoui Deprived of Constitutional Rights, Attorneys Say: Appeal Seeks to Overturn Guilty Plea, Life Sentence Because of Evidence Kept Secret, Counsel Choice Denied
QUOTE: "[Zacarias]Moussaoui faced the choice between pleading guilty and facing a fundamentally unfair trial in a death-penalty case. This was an unconstitutional choice, and his plea was involuntary as a result,'' [his attorneys say]...
Washington Post Jan 29, 2008 Looking Anew at Campaign Cash and Elected Judges
QUOTE: Vernon Valentine Palmer, a law professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, could not understand how justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court could routinely hear cases involving people who had given them campaign contributions. It seemed to him a raw and simple conflict of interest.
New York Times Jan 16, 2008 In Child Porn Case, a Digital Dilemma: U.S. Seeks to Force Suspect to Reveal Password to Computer Files
QUOTE: compelling [the suspect] to enter his password into his laptop would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. "If Boucher does know the password, he would be faced with the forbidden trilemma: incriminate himself, lie under oath, or find himself in contempt of court," the judge said.
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