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Legal news from Wednesday, July 16, 2014
by Jaclyn Belczyk

A judge for the US District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday struck down California's death penalty, finding that it violates the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution. US District Judge Cormac Carney ruled on a petition by death row inmate Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to death in 1995. Carney …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A nurse at the Guantanamo detention center has refused to participate in the force feeding of hunger striking inmates, UK human rights group Reprieve reported Tuesday. Word of the unidentified nurse's refusal came via a phone call from detainee Abu Wael Dhiab to his lawyer at Reprieve and was confirmed to the Miami …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled Tuesday that the University of Texas at Austin (UT) may continue considering race as part of its admission criteria. The US Supreme Court had remanded the case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, to the appeals court last …

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by Addison Morris

A Pakistan court on Tuesday sentenced to death a man convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammed in violation of the nation's blasphemy laws. Zulfiqar Ali was arrested in 2008 for writing blasphemous statements [DAWN.com report] against Islam on walls. Ali's lawyer argued that his client was mentally insane, emphasizing that Ali had been brought to the proceedings from the …

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by Addison Morris

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Monday that Indiana must allow secular humanists to officiate at weddings, despite a state law [IC 31-11-6-1 text, PDF] that bars their participation. The court declared that the law unlawfully discriminates against nonreligious humanists who wish to have their marriage officiated by someone who shares …

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by Ann Schober

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Monday reversed a lower court ruling prohibiting the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing specialty license plates featuring the Confederate battle flag. The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of …

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by Peter Snyder

Texas lawmakers Senator John Cornyn (R) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D) introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would change a current border protection law to allow the US government to more easily deport Central American minors that have crossed the US-Mexico border. The bill, referred to as the HUMANE Act, an acronym for Helping Unaccompanied Minors …

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by Peter Snyder

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Monday against a coalition of five Great Lakes States seeking to compel the Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (District) to take action to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan through the Chicago …

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