CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Vaughn R. Walker, the San Francisco judge who issued the first ruling on the federal constitutionality of Proposition 8, said Wednesday that he believes the trial he presided over affected the outcome of the same-sex marriage cases decided by the Supreme Court. “Subliminally, yes,” he said in an interview. Now retired from the bench and working as a private mediator, Walker, 69, was expected to play a minor role in the battle over gay marriage. But his 2010 decision overturning Proposition 8 was all that remained Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled that opponents of gay marriage had no legal right to appeal it. State officials refused to do so. Walker's court was supposed to be a pit stop on the way to the Supreme Court.
June 6, 2013 |
When a Guatemalan court found the country's former dictator, Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, guilty of genocide last month, it was the first time a Latin American leader had been convicted of such a crime in his own country. The verdict was hailed as a victory not only for Guatemala's fragile courts but also for Latin America generally, where weak judges and fearful prosecutors have all too often failed to bring human rights abusers to justice. That triumph, however, is now at risk. Just days after Rios Montt was convicted, the trial court's verdict was thrown out on a procedural technicality by the country's Constitutional Court, which ordered the lower court to rehear all evidence presented after April 19, when the procedural mistake occurred.
April 25, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- Guatemala's highest court issued a ruling late Thursday that appears to have broken the complicated legal logjam in the case of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who is facing genocide charges in the slaughter of ethnic Maya during the country's civil war. The decision by the Constitutional Court appears to avert the possibility that prosecutors might have to start the trial from scratch, re-creating a case in which more than 100...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2013 |
A former Sierra Madre police union official whose pay raise was delayed after he led a no-confidence vote against the police chief may sue for retaliation in violation of his free speech rights, a federal appeals court decided Friday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the dismissal of a lawsuit by Officer John Ellins, who headed the Sierra Madre Police Assn. from 2006 to 2010, against former Police Chief Marilyn Diaz. The police chief should have known that "depriving Ellins of salary in retaliation for his protected speech was unconstitutional," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2012 |
Police suspected that William Richards had killed his wife, Pamela, the night her body was found. There was no sign of an intruder, and police said the crime scene appeared staged. But Richards denied killing Pamela, and authorities had trouble obtaining a conviction. After two juries hung, a third heard new evidence: A forensic odontologist testified that a "bite mark" on Pamela's hand was consistent with Richards' unusual dentition, a pattern the prosecution expert said was found in only about 2% of the population.
August 9, 2012 |
BEIJING - AfterO.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder in 1995, a well-connected Chinese lawyer pointed to the case as proof of the failure of the American judicial system. "An American trial always gives bad people a chance to take advantage of the loopholes," the lawyer, Gu Kailai, wrote in a 1998 book about her experiences working in the United States. "The Chinese judicial system is fairest.... If you kill somebody, they'll arrest you, try you and shoot you. " On Thursday, Gu, the wife of former Politburo member Bo Xilai, was on the receiving end of Chinese justice.