Ohio high court will review full autopsies from 8 slayings

Legal Interview 2017/04/17 11:13   Bookmark and Share
The Ohio Supreme Court wants to see unredacted autopsy reports from eight slayings in one family as justices consider media lawsuits seeking access to those full reports from the year-old, unsolved case.

The court on Wednesday ordered the Pike County coroner in southern Ohio to submit the reports within two weeks for justices to review outside of public view.

The case involves seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family who were found shot to death at four homes near Piketon last April.

The Columbus Dispatch and The Cincinnati Enquirer separately sued for access to the full autopsies.

Authorities want to shield information, arguing that its release could compromise the investigation. The coroner also says victims' relatives raised concerns about sharing details of how their loved ones died.
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Bollywood filmmaker challenges censoring of drug-abuse film

Legal Interview 2016/06/10 12:47   Bookmark and Share
A Bollywood film producer took his row with India's censor board to a court Wednesday, challenging dozens of cuts and changes to a film that depicts the menace of drug abuse in the northern state of Punjab.

Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalini said in a newspaper interview that the movie wrongly depicts 70 percent of people of the state consuming drugs and defaming them. He told reporters that the censor board has approved the movie for screening in theaters with the cuts ordered.

He accused producer Anurag Kashyap of whipping up a controversy to create interest in his film. Compared to Hollywood, movie norms in India are extremely strict. Censorship authorities often order filmmakers ? both Indian and foreign ? to chop scenes deemed offensive. Films with graphic content can be barred completely.

Last year, India's censor authorities ordered that kissing scenes in the James Bond movie, "Spectre," be shortened before it was released in the country.

Kashyap asked the Mumbai High Court to overrule the cuts ordered by the censor board. The court is expected to take up the petition later Wednesday. It could reject the matter or order reconsideration.

Kashyap said the censor board chief Nihalini demanded 89 cuts to the film and even asked him to drop the name of the state from the title, "Udta Punjab," or "Flying Punjab."

Bollywood producers and directors rallied behind Kashyap in his fight with the censor board. "The job of the censor board is to certify films and not suggest cuts."

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Clerk in gay marriage case to appear in federal court

Legal Interview 2015/09/03 14:16   Bookmark and Share
A county clerk in Kentucky who has repeatedly defied court orders by refusing to issue marriage licenses will appear before a federal judge who could hold her in contempt of court.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis has been summoned to the hearing at 11 a.m. Thursday before U.S. District Judge David Bunning. He's also ordered all Davis' deputy clerks to appear. Bunning could hold Davis in contempt, which can carry hefty fines or jail time.

Davis stopped issuing licenses to all couples in June after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Despite rulings against her, she's turned away couples again and again, citing her Christian beliefs and "God's authority."

The couples who originally sued in the case have asked Bunning to punish Davis with fines but not jail time.



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Intel chair says NSA court order is renewal

Legal Interview 2013/06/10 10:13   Bookmark and Share
The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence committee says the top secret court order for telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon is a three-month renewal of an ongoing practice.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California spoke to reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on Thursday after the Obama administration defended the National Security Agency's need to collect the records.

Other lawmakers have said previously that the practice is legal under the Patriot Act although civil libertarians have complained about U.S. snooping on American citizens.
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Illegal immigrant in Fla. fights for law license

Legal Interview 2012/10/06 16:13   Bookmark and Share
A Florida man's bid to become the first illegal immigrant to obtain a law license in the United States met skepticism Tuesday from most of the state's Supreme Court justices.

Jose Godinez-Samperio came to the U.S. with his parents on visitors' visas when he was 9 years old, but the family never returned to Mexico. He graduated from New College in Florida, earned a law degree from Florida State University and passed the state bar exam last year.

"He's somebody who has done everything he's supposed to do. He complied with every rule," Godinez-Samperio's attorney and former American Bar Association president Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, said after the hearing.

Godinez-Samperio's case is one of a few across the country. Illegal immigrants in New York and California also want to practice law there.

The Board of Bar Examiners in Florida found no reason to deny the 25-year-old Godinez-Samperio a license but asked the state's high court for guidance, said the board's lawyer, Robert Blythe.

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Wash. Senate hopeful sought to seal court files

Legal Interview 2012/07/18 15:54   Bookmark and Share
A couple months before Brad Toft emerged as the only Republican in a crucial state Senate race, he pressed officials to seal records from a past court case.

In a signed letter, Toft seemed to suggest that he wasn't the same person cited in the court files, saying that he shared a name with one of the parties but arguing that "the specific identity of the defendant is unclear." He wanted the records blocked from public inspection, declaring that the files might do damage to his reputation.

Toft, however, acknowledged to The Associated Press that he was the defendant in the case, saying he was simply exploring whether an old judgment could be vacated.
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