Lawrence's Feed
Dec 18, 2014

Executions in United States at 20-year low: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amid growing concerns about how executions are carried out in the United States, the number of prison inmates being put to death fell to a 20-year low in 2014, the Death Penalty Information Center said in a report issued on Thursday.

The 35 executions this year was the lowest since 1994, said the Washington-based nonprofit, which does not take a position on whether the death penalty should be abolished, in its annual survey of national data.

Dec 17, 2014

U.S. top court blocks Arizona from denying driver’s licenses to immigrants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday
blocked the state of Arizona from enforcing a policy that denies
driver’s licenses to young immigrants granted legal status by
President Barack Obama in 2012.

The court denied the request made by Arizona Governor Jan
Brewer to place a hold on a ruling issued by the San
Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said
there was no legal basis for the policy. The state will now have
to let roughly 20,000 eligible immigrants apply for driver’s
licenses.

Dec 15, 2014

U.S. court dismisses Colombian human rights claims against Occidental

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday threw out a human rights lawsuit brought against Occidental Petroleum Corp over allegations that it played a role in killings carried out by the Colombian military in 2004.

A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed in California by family members of three labor union leaders killed by the 18th Brigade of the Colombian National Army during the incident.

Dec 15, 2014

U.S. top court backs police in car brake-light confusion case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
ruled that a police officer in North Carolina lawfully stopped a
car with a faulty brake light – and then found a stash of
cocaine in the vehicle – even though driving with one working
light is not illegal in the state.

In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled against Nicholas Heien,
who had argued that the sandwich bag of cocaine found in the
April 2009 search should not have been allowed as evidence when
he was charged with drug trafficking because the Surry County
Sheriff’s Department sergeant had no valid reason to stop the
car.

Dec 15, 2014

U.S. top court rejects Arizona appeal over abortion drug law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked Arizona from enforcing a state law that restricts access to abortion-inducing drugs by prohibiting off-label uses of RU-486, the so-called “abortion pill.”

The high court’s refusal to hear the state’s appeal means that an April ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that prevented the law from going into effect while litigation continues will remain intact.

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. justices to hear Louisiana inmate’s appeal over sentence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a Louisiana inmate’s appeal of a sentence to life in prison without parole that he received after he was convicted, at the age of 17, of killing a friend 30 years ago.

In the case of George Toca, the court will weigh one of its own rulings from two years ago. That ruling banned mandatory life sentences without parole for people who were under 18 years of age when they committed murder. The legal question is whether the ruling can be applied retroactively to Toca.

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court to hear dispute over Spider-Man toy royalties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal made by an inventor of a Spider-Man toy who says an outdated legal precedent has prevented him from earning deserved royalties.

By taking the case of Stephen Kimble and an associate, Robert Grabb, against Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Entertainment LLC, the high court agreed to consider whether to overturn a 50-year-old court ruling that said royalty payments generally do not need to be made after a patent has expired.

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. corporations winning fight over human rights lawsuits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2013 that made it all but impossible to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for alleged roles in overseas human rights abuses is proving to be a boon for U.S. firms too, court documents show.

In the roughly year and a half since the ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, U.S. companies such as Chiquita Brands International Inc (CQB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), IBM Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have successfully invoked the Supreme Court’s reasoning to fend off lawsuits alleging they were involved in human rights abuses in South Africa, Colombia and elsewhere.

Dec 12, 2014

Insight – U.S. corporations winning fight over human rights lawsuits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2013 that made it all but impossible to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for alleged roles in overseas human rights abuses is proving to be a boon for U.S. firms too, court documents show.

In the roughly year and a half since the ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, U.S. companies such as Chiquita Brands International Inc (CQB.N: Quote, Profile, Research), IBM Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have successfully invoked the Supreme Court’s reasoning to fend off lawsuits alleging they were involved in human rights abuses in South Africa, Colombia and elsewhere.

Dec 11, 2014

Arizona asks U.S. top court to OK immigrant driver’s licenses policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to allow the state to enforce a policy that denies driver’s licenses to recently legalized young immigrants, in a case that affects about 20,000 state residents.

The residents were granted legal status by the federal government under a 2012 program that critics call an amnesty.