Georgia man accused in hot car death to appear in court
Attorney News | 2015/10/12 16:00
A Georgia man accused of killing his toddler son by leaving him in a vehicle on a hot day is set to appear in court for a hearing.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley is set to hear arguments on pretrial motions Monday in the case of Justin Ross Harris.

Police have said Harris left 22-month-old Cooper in an SUV for about seven hours on a day when temperatures reached at least the high 80s in the Atlanta area. He faces multiple charges, including malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children.

Harris has been in custody since June 18, 2014, the day his son died. He was indicted in September 2014 and has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys have said the child's death was a tragic accident.



Int'l court prosecutor extends preliminary Ukraine probe
Attorney News | 2015/09/28 03:59
The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has broadened her preliminary probe in Ukraine to cover possible crimes committed in the country since early 2014 — a period that saw Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Tuesday's announcement by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda came after Ukrainian authorities accepted the court's jurisdiction dating back to early last year.

While Ukraine is not a member of the court, it has twice voluntarily accepted its jurisdiction.

The first acceptance covered the period from November 2013 until February 2014 — weeks during which former President Viktor Yanukovych's regime staged a violent crackdown on demonstrators. Kiev's second acceptance of jurisdiction, lodged three weeks ago, starts in early 2014 and has no end date.




Court rejects ex-NY Fed employee's retaliation claim lawsuit
Attorney News | 2015/09/24 04:47
A New York-based federal appeals court has rejected claims of a former employee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who says she was fired for her probe into the banking firm Goldman Sachs.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday upheld a lower-court ruling dismissing Carmen Segarra's lawsuit.        

She claimed the New York Fed interfered with her examination of Goldman Sachs' legal and compliance divisions and directed her to change findings.

The appeals court was particularly dismissive of Segarra's effort to hold three New York Fed employees responsible. It said the effort was "speculative, meritless, and frankly quite silly."

The Federal Reserve oversees Wall Street's biggest financial institutions.

Last year, Senate Democrats accused the Fed of being too close to big banks it regulates.



Charleston church suspect's friend charged with lying to FBI
Attorney News | 2015/09/17 18:12
A friend of the man accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a Charleston church is charged with lying to federal authorities and concealing information during their investigation, and he was scheduled for his first court appearance Friday.
 
Court documents dated Tuesday and unsealed Friday say that Joey Meek, 21, told an FBI agent that he did not know specifics about Dylann Roof's plan to shoot the churchgoers during Bible study, but the FBI says that was a lie.

Authorities notified Meek last month that he was under investigation. He was arrested Thursday. It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney to contact for comment on the case, but his girlfriend has said he is innocent. Meek was expected to appear in court for arraignment at 11 a.m. Friday.

Meek has said Roof stayed with him in before the shootings. Meek previously told The Associated Press that Roof had drunkenly complained that "blacks were taking over the world" and "someone needed to do something about it for the white race."

Roof faces federal hate crime charges as well as nine counts of murder in state court in the June 17 shootings.

On Aug. 6, Meek received a letter that he was the target of an investigation.



Bangladesh court bans Rana Plaza movie because of terrifying scenes
Attorney News | 2015/08/25 06:34
Bangladesh’s high court has imposed a six-month ban on a film about a garment worker who was rescued from the rubble 17 days after a five-storey factory complex collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people.

The director, Nazrul Islam Khan, had argued that the real-life story of Reshma Begum depicted courage amid the tragedy.

The disaster on 24 April 2013 left 1,135 people dead. Thousands more were rescued from the ruins of the illegally built complex which housed five factories supplying garments to international companies.
Rescue workers had given up hope of finding anyone else alive in the rubble of the Rana Plaza. Then they heard a faint tapping.

When the collapse started, Begum said she raced down a stairwell into the basement, where she became trapped in a pocket of space that allowed her to survive. She found some dried food and bottles of water to sustain her until she was rescued. She now works in a hotel.

The collapse triggered an outcry at home and abroad. There have been efforts to reform Bangladesh’s garment industry to improve safety and working conditions.

Investigators say several factors contributed to the building’s collapse: it was overloaded with machines and generators, constructed on swampy land, and the owner added floors in violation of the original building plan.


Appeals court won't reinstate 1990 arson-murder conviction
Attorney News | 2015/08/19 19:16
An elderly man who spent 24 years in prison for his daughter's death in a fire will remain free after a federal appeals court in Pennsylvania on Wednesday refused to reinstate his murder conviction.

Han Tak Lee, 80, a native of South Korea who earned U.S. citizenship, was exonerated and freed last year after a judge concluded the case against him was based on since-discredited scientific theories about arson. Prosecutors appealed, saying that other evidence pointed to his guilt.

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal, meaning Lee will stay out of prison.

The New York City shop owner had taken his 20-year-old, mentally ill daughter to a religious retreat in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains where, prosecutors say, he set fire to their cabin. Lee has long contended the 1989 fire was accidental.

Lee, who returned to Queens after his release from prison, did not answer his phone Wednesday. He told The Associated Press in an interview last month that he still loved America and "I expect America to make the right decision."

His attorney, Peter Goldberger, called on prosecutors to let the ruling stand.

"I hope, now, that they will finally see there is no basis for this conviction," Goldberger said. "They can say it's nobody's fault, that science changed, that this is over now, and the federal court has had the last word."

Monroe County District Attorney David Christine, who prosecuted Lee in 1990 and whose office lost the appeal, did not immediately return a text and email seeking comment.



Court rejects inmate's challenge in 5 Ohio prison slayings
Attorney News | 2015/08/17 19:16
A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge by an inmate convicted and sentenced to be executed for the slayings of five fellow inmates during a 1993 prison riot in Ohio.

Death row inmate Keith LaMar was convicted of aggravated murder in 1995 in the deaths of five inmates during the riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville. A jury recommended the death penalty in four of the slayings.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision keeping the 46-year-old LaMar's convictions and death sentences in place.

LaMar argues he was denied a fair trial when prosecutors were allowed to withhold evidence from the defense.

A three-judge panel ruled the evidence would not have changed the outcome of LaMar's trial.



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