Category: CRIMINAL LAW CASES

Category:

Rape, defilement cases horrify a nation

Africa News of Friday, 4 December 2020

Source: face2faceafrica.com

2020-12-04

Members of the Association for Women in Media protest against rising incidents of sexual violenceMembers of the Association for Women in Media protest against rising incidents of sexual violence

Already struggling with a high rate of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases, Malawi is coming to terms with increased cases of defilement and rape compelling activists and politicians alike to call for stiffer penalties for perpetrators.

The latest case to have particularly incensed the nation is the defilement of a five-month-old baby by a 31-year-old in Malawi’s old capital Zomba where residents want to take the law into their own hands to deal with suspects.

In a video that has gone viral, a cabinet minister speaking at a political rally is asking people to beat up rapists before they bring them to the police.

“It is very sad to see people defiling three or four-year-old girls. When you catch anyone, who has defiled a child beat

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Australian spy law review says Asio should seek approval before targeting citizens overseas

An extensive review of Australia’s intelligence laws has found that Asio should seek government approval before targeting citizens overseas.



Christian Porter wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

The 1,300-page review, completed by former Asio director general Dennis Richardson, was released by the attorney general, Christian Porter, on Friday.

It makes 203 recommendations, 13 of which are classified. Porter said the government would accept all but four of the public recommendations.

Richardson recommended that the Asio Act should be amended so that it required ministerial authorisation for offshore intelligence collection relating to Australians, if those activities would require a warrant should they have occurred inside Australia.

Related: Growing far-right threat should spark new approach to extremism, Australian expert says

Porter would not be drawn on whether any particular Asio activity had raised Richardson’s concerns, but said it was likely he considered specific case studies.

Asio has repeatedly emphasised a focus

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Hong Kong: Drop Cases Against Democracy Activists

(New York) – Hong Kong authorities should drop all criminal cases and release from custody those arrested or convicted for their peaceful participation in pro-democracy protests, Human Rights Watch said today. These include Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam, who were sentenced on December 2, 2020, to 13-and-a-half months, 10 months, and 7 months respectively for inciting, organizing, and participating in an unauthorized assembly, an offense under Hong Kong’s Public Order Ordinance.

The charges stem from speeches the trio made to crowds at the Hong Kong Police Headquarters on June 21, 2019, part of the six-month pro-democracy protests in 2019.

“Hong Kong is descending at a dizzying pace from a city of freedoms to a mainland Chinese city that criminalizes peaceful protests,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher. “The Hong Kong authorities should quash the convictions of these activists immediately and drop all further cases involving peaceful political activity.”

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

A new law will bring needed diversity to juries. Here’s how it works.

A new law that takes effect in California on Jan. 1, 2022 will make it difficult for lawyers trying criminal cases to exclude people of color, or members of other specified groups such as those related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation, from sitting on trial juries.



a dining room table: In this photo, a jury box sits empty. Below, the author makes the case for Assembly Bill 3070, which was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September. (Jason Doiy / Getty Images)


© (Jason Doiy / Getty Images)
In this photo, a jury box sits empty. Below, the author makes the case for Assembly Bill 3070, which was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September. (Jason Doiy / Getty Images)

Historically, trial lawyers have been permitted to use a “peremptory challenge” to keep a prospective juror off of a jury, without providing a reason for the exclusion. In the 1970s and 1980s, first the California and then the United States Supreme Courts devised rules known to as the Batson rules, which were intended to keep lawyers from using peremptory challenges to strike

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Opinion | The Case for Not Panicking About Trump’s Pardons

The panic about Trump’s pardons is already counterproductive, producing too many unforced errors by journalists and legal commentators. It has become almost an article of faith among Trump’s critics—especially among the many former prosecutors on TV—that accepting one of his pardons amounts to an admission of guilt. This is wrong as a matter of law, and also of principle. Over the past few decades, many innocent people exonerated by DNA evidence have also accepted pardons, and the Department of Justice has long recognized pardon applications for the innocent. The eagerness to interpret accepting a pardon as evidence of guilt runs roughshod over the presumption of innocence and liberals’ traditional concerns about the criminal justice system. It is hypocritical for critics to be promoting criminal justice reform on the one hand, while also echoing the Trumpists’ “lock ’em up” chants, or guilty-until-proven-innocent philosophy, when it comes to their political opponents.

Pardon

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Pandemic has clogged NC courts, delayed justice for many

After more than eight months without jury trials, Union County is holding its first Superior Court trial this week.

Scheduling that trial — or any trial — hasn’t been easy. District Attorney Trey Robison said one felony case his office tried to schedule had to be delayed because the defense attorney was quarantined. Another — a breaking-and-entering case — couldn’t be tried because someone in the defendant’s household contracted COVID-19.

Finally, the district attorney’s office found a case that could be tried — an appeal of a DWI case. These cases tend to be less complicated than most felonies heard in Superior Court, but the pandemic made seating a jury extremely time-consuming, Robison said.

The Union County courthouse doesn’t have any rooms big enough to seat all the potential jurors while observing social distancing, so several separate jury pools had to be called.

And while some North Carolina courtrooms seated

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Attorney general asks lawmakers to limit new ‘good time’ law

TJ Donovan
Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan testifies in January before the House Judiciary and Government Operations committees. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

Attorney General TJ Donovan is asking lawmakers to restrict a policy that allows prisoners to earn reduced time off their sentences — he doesn’t want it to apply to people convicted of murder or sexual assault. 

The policy was passed earlier this year as part of a criminal justice reform package called Justice Reinvestment II, aimed at keeping people out of prison, reducing recidivism, and limiting the state’s furlough system. 

Under the so-called “good time” policy, starting in 2021, inmates can begin to earn seven days per month off their minimum and maximum sentences by obeying rules and meeting Department of Corrections requirements.  

But on Wednesday, Donovan told legislators on the Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee that in the interest of crime victims, the law should be changed so that

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Pakistan’s #MeToo Case Highlights Controversial Cybercrime Law

When the #MeToo movement went viral globally in 2017, it was largely lauded for breaking the culture of silence around sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. But alongside this exposure came a deluge of online hate, and in Pakistan in particular, the backlash could be weaponized by the law.

In April 2018, Meesha Shafi, a prominent singer and actor, posted on Twitter, accusing Ali Zafar, one of Pakistan’s most famous pop stars and actors, of sexual harassment. Subsequently, other accusers came forward on the platform, describing more instances of his alleged harassment, all of which he denied, while others tweeted in support of Shafi.

The accusations set off years of litigation, a media frenzy of misinformation, and highlighted the ways defamation cases can impact accusations of sexual harassment, particularly in a country where women and vulnerable groups have long mistrusted authorities in addressing gender-based crimes. In 2020 alone, cases

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Case preview: Justices will hear argument on whether unanimous jury ruling applies retroactively

In April, the Supreme Court ruled in Ramos v. Louisiana that the Sixth Amendment establishes a right to a unanimous jury that applies in both federal and state courts. On Wednesday in Edwards v. Vannoy, the justices will hear argument on whether inmates whose convictions became final before that decision can now take advantage of it. Although only two states, Louisiana and Oregon, have allowed non-unanimous jury verdicts in recent years, those states say that a ruling for the inmates could “seriously strain” their systems by reopening many years’ worth of convictions.

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to an “impartial jury.” When it and the other amendments in the Bill of Rights were originally enacted, they were interpreted as applying only to the federal government – not to the states. Since then, however, the Supreme Court has ruled that some, and eventually most, of the

Read More
Posted On :
Category:

Law officers call for halt to executions in Trump’s final weeks

CLOSE

This Aug. 28, 2020, file photo shows the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. A wave of federal executions by the Trump administration after a 17-year hiatus are set to resume. (Photo: Michael Conroy, AP)

A coalition of 90 current and former law enforcement officials are calling on federal authorities to halt five executions scheduled during the final weeks of the Trump administration, claiming that the uncertain transition period and resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic risk undermining confidence in the criminal justice system.

“When people believe the state is executing a person, or applying the death penalty unjustly … their trust in our system of government and law enforcement is undermined,” the officials stated in an open letter released by the group Fair and Just Prosecution.

This year, the Trump administration has dramatically revived its use of the death penalty after a 17-year hiatus, executing more prisoners —

Read More
Posted On :