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Proposed Bill Would Allow For New Sentencing Juries

Move Comes After Deadlock on Killer of BOP Officer After an 11-1 jury split on the penalty for the inmate convicted of killing a guard at the federal penitentiary in Canaan, Pennsylvania, two House members want to give federal prosecutors the right to empanel a new jury to decide the proper sentence, if the original

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Fourth Circuit Allows Abu Ghraib Torture Suit to Move Forward

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has reversed a district court’s ruling that a war crimes lawsuit brought by Iraqi nationals allegedly tortured by military contractors in 2003 and 2004 cannot go forward. The claim alleged sundry acts of heinous abuse visited upon detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison by

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Eleventh Circuit Grants Habeas Hearing in Judicial Bias Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has reversed a district court and ruled that an evidentiary hearing is required when a criminal defendant has sufficiently alleged actual bias on the part of a trial judge. Harrison Norris, Jr., who is black, was convicted of 24 counts of forced prostitution of several

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Virginia Supreme Court Orders Retrial in Civil Commitment Proceeding

The Virginia Supreme Court has reversed a jury’s finding that a convicted sex offender was not a sexually violent predator who must be civilly committed. On Aug. 12, 2014 the Commonwealth of Virginia moved to involuntarily commit Brady Arnold Proffitt, Jr. as a sexually violent predator. In order to commit Proffitt pursuant to the Sexually

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Law Libraries in Federal Prison

Inmates housed in the Federal Bureau of Prisons have the right to access law libraries where they can research legal issues and prepare legal filings. This right was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821 (1997), which required each institution to “establish a main law library[.]” The law

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