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The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that a woman can pursue a wrongful-death lawsuit against an obstetrician after a miscarriage when she was five to six weeks pregnant.

Justices on Friday reversed a trial judge's order dismissing the wrongful-death claim.

In the civil case ruling, the justices cited a 2009 state law making it a crime to kill or harm "an unborn child in utero at any stage of development."

The case involved a newly pregnant woman experiencing abdominal cramping and fever. The physician suspected an ectopic pregnancy and administered an injection to stop the progression. It was determined later that the pregnancy was uterine.

The woman sued, arguing that the injection caused pregnancy loss. The physician said that the pregnancy was already failing and that she followed standard practices.




A court in Cambodia on Tuesday sentenced the country's exiled opposition leader to five years in prison after finding him guilty of conspiring to incite chaos by posting misleading documents on his Facebook page.

The conviction by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court is the latest legal problem for Sam Rainsy, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The several cases against him are generally considered part of Prime Minister Hun Sen's strategy to weaken his opponents ahead of local elections next year.

Sam Rainsy was found guilty in absentia of conspiracy to incite chaos and using and falsifying public documents. His Facebook page had reposted from a fellow party member several poorly translated documents suggesting that Hun Sen's government had signed a treaty ceding territory to neighboring Vietnam, Cambodia's traditional enemy.

Two opposition party members who maintained the Facebook page for Sam Rainsy were found guilty of the same charges, and also given five-year prison sentences, but with two years suspended. The two are also in exile.

The original poster of the erroneous material, opposition Sen. Hong Sok Hour, was sentenced last month to seven years in prison.


29 Turkish police officers in court for coup trial

•  National News     updated  2016/12/27 00:30


Twenty-nine Turkish former police officers went on trial on Tuesday accused of aiding the failed military coup in July — the first trial in Istanbul over the attempt that led to some 270 deaths.

Renegade officers in Turkey's military used tanks, fighter jets and helicopters in their July 15 attempt to unseat the government, attacking the parliament and other key buildings. Turkey blamed it on a network of followers of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen — an ally turned foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Gulen, whom Turkey wants extradited from the United States so that he may also face trial, has denied any involvement in the coup.

The government declared a state of emergency following the coup and has launched a large-scale crackdown against Gulen's movement, which it has declared a terror organization. More than 40,000 people have been arrested for alleged involvement in the coup while tens of thousands of other suspected Gulen followers have been purged from government jobs.

The police officers are standing trial in a prison and courthouse complex in the outskirts of Istanbul include three police helicopter pilots. They are accused of aiding the coup by not carrying out their duties, including disobeying orders to protect Erdogan's Istanbul residence on the night of the coup, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

At the opening hearing, two pilots denied accusations that they ignored orders to fly a helicopter that would carry officers tasked with defending Erdogan's residence, Anadolu reported. The two also rejected accusations of links to Gulen's movement.


Court returns ex-Fort Bragg cook to execution track

•  Legal Events     updated  2016/12/25 00:30


A former Fort Bragg soldier who killed four women and raped others more than 25 years ago is again headed for execution.
 
The Fayetteville Observer reports Ronald Gray last week lost a battle to keep in place a federal court's order issued eight years ago blocking his execution.

The former Army cook's death sentence would be the first for the U.S. military since 1961.

Gray was convicted and condemned in military court in 1988 for two murders and three rapes while stationed at Fort Bragg. He pleaded guilty in civilian courts to two more murders and five separate rapes.

Gray is being held at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Gray was scheduled to die in 2008 after President George W. Bush signed an execution order.




The California Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a voter-approved measure intended to speed up the appeals process for the state's Death Row inmates to give it time to consider a lawsuit challenging the measure.

In a one-page decision, the court stayed the "implementation of all provisions of Proposition 66" and set a timeline for filing briefs in the case.

Proposition 66 would change how appeals are handled, appointing more lawyers to take cases, putting certain types of appeals before trial court judges and setting a five-year deadline for appeals to be heard. Currently, it can take longer than that for an attorney to be assigned to a case and upward of 25 years to exhaust appeals.

The lawsuit by former Attorney General John Van de Kamp and Ron Briggs, whose father wrote the ballot measure that expanded California's death penalty in 1978, said the reform measure would disrupt the courts, cost more money and limit the ability to mount proper appeals. They said the deadlines would set "an inordinately short timeline for the courts to review those complex cases" and result in attorneys cutting corners in their investigations.

Supporters of the measure have called the lawsuit a frivolous stall tactic.

California voters faced two death penalty measures on the November election. They rejected a measure that would have abolished the death penalty and narrowly approved Proposition 66.




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