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Judge Affirms 5-Year Sentence for Casting Illegal Vote

'Prison is a lot closer for her today,' Crystal Mason’s lawyer says

(Newser) - Civil rights advocates see this as a tale of two voters. Crystal Mason, who is black, was sentenced to five years in prison for casting a ballot in Tarrant County, Texas, in 2016 while being a felon under supervision. Terri Lynn Rote, who is white, was sentenced to two years’...

Woman Sues Club After Fall, but Judge Cites Her 'Obese State'
Woman Sues Club
After Fall, but
Judge Cites
Her 'Obese State' 
in case you missed it

Woman Sues Club After Fall, but Judge Cites Her 'Obese State'

That she was 'inebriated' and wearing heels didn't help, the ruling adds

(Newser) - A judge in Britain has denied a woman's claim that dim lighting in a jazz club was to blame for injuries she suffered in a fall, with her unusually frank ruling making headlines because of its references to the woman's "inebriated, obese state." Judge Heather Baucher...

She Miscarried at 6 Weeks, Can Sue Her Doctor

Alabama court says wrongful death lawsuit can go forward

(Newser) - A pregnant Alabama woman who suffered a miscarriage at six weeks can sue her doctor for wrongful death, the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled, with judges citing a 2009 state law making it a crime to kill or harm "an unborn child in utero at any stage of development....

Years After Mysterious Death, 1st Nazi Hunter in Limelight

Prosecutor Fritz Bauer wasn't just Jewish, but a gay atheist

(Newser) - Nearly 50 years after he was mysteriously found dead in a bath tub, two new films are helping to put Germany's first Nazi hunter Fritz Bauer "back where he belongs: in the collective consciousness," reports Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung , via AFP . Both Labyrinth of Lies by Giulio...

Toddlers' Sense of Justice Surprises Researchers

They're more interested in making things right than punishing wrongdoers

(Newser) - Preschool justice may be more developed than previously thought. So finds new research published in the journal Current Biology , where 3- and 5-year-olds observed two of four different scenes involving puppets, toys, and cookies. It turns out that not only did the kids sort out pretty quickly whether the "...

Iran May Spare Woman Who Killed Would-Be Rapist

Reyhaneh Jabbari accused of killing man during rape attempt

(Newser) - Iranian authorities may have decided not to execute Reyhaneh Jabbari, who has faced the gallows since 2009 after being convicted of killing a man she says tried to rape her, the LA Times reports. Authorities are working to commute the death sentence against the 26-year-old woman, an Iranian judiciary spokesman...

Zimmerman Trial Is Really a 'Revolutionary Tribunal'

Media hysterics, political ideology make our justice system a joke: Victor Davis Hanson

(Newser) - George Zimmerman probably wouldn't be on trial if he went by the name Jorge Meza, using his maternal last name and the Hispanic version of his first name, argues Victor Davis Hanson at the National Review . But instead he's George Zimmerman, which allows "racialists" to depict this...

'Jury Nullification' Can Help the Fight for Legal Pot

Jurors can acquit guilty people under obscure principle: law professor

(Newser) - Proponents of legal marijuana should tuck this one away: A law professor argues that jurors should acquit people accused of possessing or selling pot even if the evidence against them is clear. The principle is called jury nullification, writes Paul Butler in the New York Times . Essentially, jurors have the...

Face It: We Need Revenge

 Face It: We Need Revenge 

Face It: We Need Revenge

Justice is just a fancy word for vengeance, argues Thane Rosenbaum

(Newser) - Norway doesn’t have the death penalty, and that means it’s “legally and morally” unprepared to deal with the likes of Anders Breivik, the man allegedly responsible for the Oslo massacre, argues legal scholar Thane Rosenbaum in the New York Times . Americans, meanwhile, are outraged over the acquittal...

Hungry Judges Less Lenient
 Hungry Judges Less Lenient 
study says

Hungry Judges Less Lenient

Fatigue may lead decision-makers to choose easy options

(Newser) - If you ever find yourself before a judge, you should hope that he or she is well-fed and well-rested, new research suggests. Researchers analyzed more than a thousand parole hearings in Israel and discovered that judges were much likelier to grant an inmate parole if the hearing occurred soon after...

Plan in Iowa to Impeach Judges Is Dangerous
Plan in Iowa to Impeach
Judges Is Dangerous

Plan in Iowa to Impeach Judges Is Dangerous

Op-ed: Activists angry over same-sex ruling are going too far

(Newser) - Throughout US history, “no matter how controversial the case, no state or federal judge has been impeached for an opinion issued from the bench,” writes Bert Brandenburg in the Washington Post . But now, activists in Iowa want to impeach the justices who voted to allow same-sex marriage in...

Gore, Wolfowitz Team Up to Fight Malaysia Trial
Gore, Wolfowitz Team Up to Fight Malaysia Trial
strange bedfellows

Gore, Wolfowitz Team Up to Fight Malaysia Trial

They don't agree on much, except that Anwar Ibrahim is being railroaded

(Newser) - The case of persecuted Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has created an unlikely pair of allies: Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz. They argue in a joint editorial for the Wall Street Journal that the US must pressure Malaysia to stop the politically motivated trial Anwar is currently facing on dubious...

'Murderer' Freed After Victim Shows Up Alive
'Murderer' Freed After Victim Shows Up Alive
10 years later

'Murderer' Freed After Victim Shows Up Alive

Chinese man spent 10 years in prison

(Newser) - A Chinese man has been cleared of murder, thanks to the sudden reappearance of his "victim." Zhao Zuohai was sent to prison nearly 10 years ago after his neighbor, Zhao Zhenshang, whom he'd recently had a fight with, disappeared. Police assumed he'd been murdered, later identifying a decomposing...

Kidnapped Murder Suspect Will Stand Trial

Victim's father delivered him 'bound and gagged' to France for 27-year-old murder

(Newser) - A French court ruled last week that murder suspect Dieter Krombach, 74, must stand trial, despite the fact he was abducted from Germany, bound and gagged, and driven to France against his will. The kidnapping was arranged by the victim's father, André Bamberski, 72, who says he was driven to...

Wise Latinas Embrace Their New Label

(Newser) - GOP senators may have pooh-poohed Sonia Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” comment, but wise Latinas everywhere are wearing the phrase like a badge of honor, the New York Times reports. From t-shirts to blogs, women of Hispanic heritage have warmed to the phrase much like other minority groups appropriate slurs,...

Blame Everyone Involved for Shallow Sotomayor Hearings

Dems go lightly; GOP eyes history outside of court

(Newser) - With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation a virtual certainty and her appointment unlikely to change the direction of the Supreme Court, last week's toothless hearings held few surprises. Except, that is, for observers who were hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee would press for substantive Q-and-A, Joan Biskupic writes for USA Today. “...

Sotomayor Wins Republicans' Backing

 Sotomayor Wins 
 Republicans' Backing 

Sotomayor Wins Republicans' Backing

She's shown 'judicial temperament': statement

(Newser) - Richard Lugar said today he’ll back Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court bid, making him the first GOP senator to do so, the Washington Post reports. Mel Martinez of Florida, the chamber's sole Republican Latino, quickly followed suit. “Judge Sotomayor has demonstrated a judicial temperament during her week-long nomination...

Sotomayor Pledges 'Fidelity to the Law'

(Newser) - After listening to senators air their issues for most of the day,  Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor finally got the microphone at the end of her confirmation hearing today, telling senators she would serve the “larger interest of impartial justice," the AP reports. Sotomayor also took an...

Both Parties Will Use Sotomayor to Push Agendas

Parties hope to inspire support through questioning

(Newser) - Nobody expects Sonia Sotomayor to have serious trouble winning confirmation to the Supreme Court; the hearings that start today will be battles for American hearts and minds, with both parties seeing them as an opportunity to position themselves on key issues, the Washington Post reports. Aiming to ignite their base,...

Sotomayor's Record Reveals Rigor, Little Else
Sotomayor's Record Reveals Rigor, Little Else

Sotomayor's Record Reveals Rigor, Little Else

Dispassionate rulings exhaustive, but show no larger vision

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor’s decisions “are not always a pleasure to read,” writes Adam Liptak of the New York Times, but “they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship.” They are exhaustive and technical, with even uncontroversial propositions justified with detailed footnotes. They also reveal strikingly little...

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