Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court
Attorney News | 2015/03/27 16:11

Italy's highest court overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Friday over the 2007 slaying of Knox's roommate, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated trial-watchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Finished!" Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read out late Friday. "It couldn't be better than this."

In a rare decision, the supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year's convictions by a Florence appeals court and declined to order another trial. The judges declared that the two did not commit the crime, a stronger exoneration than merely finding that there wasn't enough evidence to convict.

In a statement issued from her home in Seattle, Knox said she was "relieved and grateful" for the decision.

"The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," she said, thanking her supporters for believing in her.

Experts have said such a complete exoneration is unusual for the high court, which could have upheld the conviction or ordered a new trial as it did in 2011 when the case first came up to its review on appeal.

The justices' reasoning will be released within 90 days.

The decision ends the long legal battle waged by Knox and Italian co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito to clear their names in the death of British student Meredith Kercher, after they spent nearly four years in prison immediately after the murder.



Court upholds conviction of woman in Rwanda genocide case
Attorney News | 2015/03/27 16:11
A federal appeals court panel has upheld the conviction of a New Hampshire woman found guilty of lying about her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide so she could obtain U.S. citizenship.

Beatrice Munyenyezi is serving a 10-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2013.

One of her lawyers, David Ruoff, said Friday they are still mulling their options after the ruling by the three-judge panel, including whether to ask the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston for a rehearing by the full court. He said they have been unable to reach Munyenyezi, who is in a federal prison in Alabama, to tell her about the ruling.

Munyenyezi's appeal said the trial judge should not have allowed prosecutors to use her testimony before an international war crimes tribunal to show she had a propensity to lie. Her lawyers accused a prosecutor of making false assertions while cross-examining a defense witness and said there was insufficient evidence to convict her.

Munyenyezi also said her sentence was too harsh. But the appeals court rejected all those arguments Wednesday and said the case record makes for "a bone-chilling read."

Munyenyezi was convicted in February 2013 in the Concord, New Hampshire, federal courthouse where she had been granted U.S. citizenship a decade earlier. Her citizenship was stripped upon her conviction.

The jury found she lied about being affiliated with a political party that orchestrated much of the genocide. Witnesses say she helped patrol one of the notorious checkpoints at which those bearing a card identifying them as Tutsis were singled out for rape and murder.


Bond hearing scheduled for millionaire Durst in New Orleans
Court News | 2015/03/23 12:30
Millionaire Robert Durst, facing a murder charge in California and weapons charges in Louisiana, is scheduled for a bond hearing.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday in New Orleans on the weapons charges. Prosecutors say no bond should be allowed. Durst's lawyers want their client released.

They say the 71-year-old was illegally arrested at a New Orleans hotel March 14 on both the weapons charges and the warrant alleging that murdered a female friend in California. His lawyers also say his arrest was orchestrated to coincide with the last episode of an HBO show about him.

One of the weapons charges alleges Durst had a .38-caliber revolver; previous felony convictions make that illegal. The other charge says he had the weapon and illegal drugs: more than 5 ounces of marijuana.

Durst has been held for nearly a week in a mental-health unit in a prison about 70 miles from New Orleans. Jail officials say he's at risk for suicide.


'Suge' Knight due back in court for murder case
Court Watch | 2015/03/11 14:42
Former rap music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom for a hearing about evidence in his murder case.

Monday's hearing will be Knight's first court appearance since the Death Row Records co-founder told a judge that he had fired his attorneys and was going blind due to medical issues.

Knight has remained jailed without bail on murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run charges filed after he struck two men with his pickup truck during an altercation in a Compton parking lot in late January. His attorneys are asking a prosecutor to hand over potential evidence in the case.

The 49-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

Knight was taken to the hospital following his last court appearance on March 2, the third time he's sought emergency medical care since being charged with murder.


John Q. Kelly - Personal Injury Attorney in New York
Attorney News | 2015/03/11 14:41
JOHN Q. KELLY, referred to “…as the most sought after wrongful death lawyer in the land”, has an unsurpassed track record in high stakes, high profile wrongful death and personal injury litigation.

Subsequent to his landmark verdict as lead attorney for the Estate of Nicole Brown Simpson in its wrongful death action against O.J. Simpson, Mr. Kelly continues to successfully handle matters that receive national and international coverage, and has a reputation as a meticulous, no-nonsense litigator, schooled in the nuances of physical, forensic and circumstantial evidence, battle-tested in the courtroom on countless occasions, and seasoned by 30 years of deftly interacting with the media.

Mr. Kelly has appeared as both a featured guest and/or legal commentator frequently on all major network and cable news shows (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News) and been profiled/referenced in a multitude of publications, including Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, People Magazine, Worth Magazine, Greenwich Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, New York Post and New York Daily News.

Mr. Kelly is admitted to the New York State Bar and the Southern and Eastern Districts of the United States District Court and has argued appeals in the Second and Third Circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals and New York State Appellate Division, 1st and 2nd Departments. He has handled matters in Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Australia. Mr. Kelly divides his time between his office in New York City and in Greenwich, CT.


Justices pepper health care law opponents with questions
Attorney News | 2015/03/05 13:40

Supreme Court justices peppered opponents of President Barack Obama's health care law with skeptical questions during oral arguments Wednesday on the latest challenge to the sweeping legislation.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote is seen as pivotal, suggested that the plaintiffs' argument raises a "serious" constitutional problem affecting the relationship between states and the federal government.

The plaintiffs argue that only residents of states that set up their own insurance markets can get federal subsidies to help pay their premiums.

Millions of people could be affected by the court's decision. The justices are trying to determine whether the law makes people in all 50 states eligible for federal tax subsidies to cut the cost of insurance premiums. Or, does it limit tax credits only to people who live in states that created their own health insurance marketplaces?

During oral arguments, the courts' liberal justices also expressed doubts. In an earlier case involving the law, however, Kennedy was on the opposite side, voting to strike down a key requirement.

A ruling that limits where subsidies are available would have dramatic consequences because roughly three dozen states opted against their own marketplace, or exchange, and instead rely on the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's healthcare.gov. Independent studies estimate that 8 million people could lose insurance coverage.


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