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Controversial Inauguration Protest Prosecution Ends In Not Guilty Verdicts

All six defendants in a crucial trial involving demonstrators arrested during President Donald Trump’s inauguration were found not guilty of all charges on Thursday. The trial of the six defendants ― Jennifer Armento, Oliver Harris, Brittne Lawson, Michelle Macchio, Christina Simmons and Alexei Wood ― began in mid-November. It raised major First Amendment issues and was seen as a bellwether that could determine whether the government will proceed with the prosecutions of many of the nearly 200 other defendants who have trials scheduled throughout the next year. Despite Thursday’s verdict, Justice Department prosecutors appeared ready to take all of the remaining defendants to trial. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia believes that the evidence shows that a riot occurred on January 20, 2017...

Rasmea Odeh Accepts Plea Agreement With No Prison Time

By Hatem Abudayyeh for Stop FBI - After living in this country for over 20 years, Rasmea was charged in 2013 with an immigration violation that was always just a pretext for a broader attempt to criminalize the Palestine liberation movement. She has spent the last three and a half years leading a powerful battle to resist this attack, joined by hundreds of supporters for every court appearance, and thousands of supporters across the country and the world. However, the prospects for a fair trial are slimmer than ever. The prosecution team is now under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about “terrorism” rather than immigration.

Haitian People’s Court Will Put 100 Years Of U.S. Occupation On Trial

By Staff of AlterPresse - July 28, 2017, is the deadline to deliver denounces to the symbolic People’s Court, which has been called to examine the 100 years of US occupation of Haiti (from 1915 to 2015). This initiative has been created thanks to a joint effort by many social organizations. From January to February 2017, the organizers will visit all of Haiti’s departments to create departmental committees, as reported by the representative of the Committee of Direction and Coordination of the People’s Court, Camille Chalmers, in a conference/debate on January 17, which was attended by online agency AlterPresse. Between February and May 2017, accusations will be made based on testimonies, scientific research and documentation provided by all the regions and sectors, Chalmers announced.

Standing Rock Sioux Pack Federal Courtroom Seeking Halt Of Pipeline

By Anne Meador for DC Media Group - Washington, DC — Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American tribes and their supporters gathered for several hours outside a federal courthouse today while a judge heard arguments on whether construction of an oil pipeline next to a reservation should be halted. The Dakota Access Pipeline poses irreparable harm to culturally and archeologically significant sites, according to the complaint filed by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to gain an injunction against the pipeline.

Subcomandante Marcos Replies To Mexican Court

By EZLN for ROAR Magazine - The whole time the only terrorists have been those who for more than 80 years have so badly governed this country. You are simply the sink where the genocidaires go to wash their hands and together you have converted the judicial system into a poorly built and clogged latrine, the national flag in a reusable roll of toilet paper, and the national shield into a logo made of undigested fast food. Everything else is pure theater in order to simulate justice where there is only impunity and shamelessness, feigning “institutional government” where there is nothing more than dispossession and repression.

Federal Court Rules You Can Be Arrested Simply For Filming Police

By Staff of Counter Current News - Philadelphia, PA — A federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ruled that filming the police without a specific challenge or criticism is not constitutionally protected. The cases of Fields v. City of Philadelphia, and Geraci v. City of Philadelphia involve two different incidents where individuals were arrested for filming the police. Richard Fields, a Temple University student, was arrested after stopping to take a picture of a large group of police outside a house party.

Refusing To Settle, Dimock Families Take Fracking Giant To Court

By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams - Fracking is on trial in Pennsylvania this week as two families, who refused to settle in their pursuit of justice, have launched a court battle against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. Neighbors Scott Ely and his wife, Monica Marta-Ely, and Ray and Victoria Hubert are accusing the fossil fuel giant of groundwater contamination, resulting in the loss of their drinking water supply. Both families live in the town of Dimock, which has become the cornerstone in the fight against fracking and was featured in the 2010 documentary Gasland.

French Judge Summons Former Guantanamo Chief In Torture Probe

By Staff of FRANCE 24 - A French judge has summoned retired US General Geoffrey Miller, the former Guantanamo Bay prison chief, to appear in court on March 1 over allegations of torture, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs told FRANCE 24 on Thursday. William Bourdon, a lawyer for former Gitmo detainee Mourad Benchellali, said General Miller was due in court at 10am on March 1 to answer accusations that he oversaw Benchellali’s “illegal detention and torture”.

Clinics To Close As Court Upholds Texas Abortion Restrictions

By Samantha Lachman in The Huffington Post - A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld some of the most onerous parts of a Texas abortion law, which is likely to cause most of the state's abortion clinics to close. The ruling, released Tuesday, allowed provisions requiring clinics to meet hospital-level operating standards and requiring providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals to go into effect. It did exempt the last open clinic in the state's Rio Grande Valley from the provisions, which were passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by former Gov. Rick Perry (R) two years ago. In court, attorneys opposing the law said it could close all but eight clinics in Texas.

Court Stops Plans For Colorado Coal Mine

The federal coal leasing program has many flaws, such as cheating taxpayers out of billions of dollars, increasing mining that damages nearby land and water resources, and subsidizing the coal mining industry’s efforts to boost exports. But the biggest problem is that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pays almost no attention whatsoever to the very obvious fact that when burned, coal will release carbon pollution and contribute to climate change. However, thanks to an important recent court ruling, the Bureau of Land Management may now have a tougher time denying its role in unlocking huge amounts of carbon pollution. A federal court last week blocked Arch Coal’s plans to expand a coal mine in Colorado, on the grounds that BLM failed to consider the impacts of climate change when it approved the mine expansion. “This decision means that these agencies can’t bury their heads in the sand when confronting the very real impacts of climate change,” said Ted Zukoski, an attorney with Earthjustice, which brought the case along with WildEarth Guardians, High Country Conservation Advocates, and the Sierra Club.

Solitary Confinement Threatened By Litigation

More than 200 inmates at Pelican Bay, California’s toughest prison, have spent over a decade locked in windowless 8-foot-by-12-foot cells for 22 hours or more a day. Dozens more have been in solitary confinement for 15 years — or even longer. But in a ruling this week, a federal judge in Oakland, Calif., agreed to consider whether, as a lawsuit against the state’s corrections department maintains, holding prisoners in such prolonged isolation violates their rights under the Eighth Amendment. Legal experts say that the ruling, which allows inmates at Pelican Bay who have been held in solitary confinement for more than a decade to sue as a class, paves the way for a court case that could shape national policy on the use of long-term solitary confinement. “It seems that the judge is going to decide the broad policy questions involved here,” said Jules Lobel, a constitutional law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which originally brought the suit on behalf of 10 inmates in the security housing unit at Pelican Bay. Without class-action status, any decision in the lawsuit could have been restricted only to those plaintiffs and not the broader policy.

Distressing Cecily McMillan Update From Court Appearance

Cecily McMillan, a 25 year old Occupy Wall Street activist who last week was sentenced to a 90-day stay at Rikers for assaulting a police officer on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012, had a court appearance today for her Dec. 7th, 2013 arrest where she is being brought on charges that she interfered with a police investigation of two people who jumped a turnstile at the Union Sq. Station. This misdemeanor case was a lynchpin of ADA Erin Choi’s case against McMillan because she is also being accused of interfering with a police investigation and then having an anxiety attack. McMillan stated in this Dec. 7th case that she was forced by the officer to go to Bellevue Hospital after taking her glasses away (she is practically blind without glasses/contacts) and also had problems breathing due to the tightness of her dress. McMillan also stated that when the officer who brought up her file and saw that she had an open felony case, he stated to her, “ADA Choi is going to have a field day with this”. The police officer stated that she was cursing at them at prevented them from making an arrest. The two people who actually jumped the turnstile were never arrested or processed.
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