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Missouri Supreme Court rejects request to stop execution

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a motion from attorneys seeking to halt the execution of a man scheduled to die next week but did not explain its decision. Attorneys for Marcellus Williams had asked the state Supreme Court and Gov. Eric Greitens to stop the punishment, citing DNA evidence that they say exonerates him. Williams, 48, is scheduled to die by injection Aug. 22 for fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle in 1998 during a robbery at her University City home. In a filing to the Missouri Supreme Court and a clemency request to the Republican governor, Williams’ attorneys said testing conducted in December using techniques that were not available at the time of the killing shows DNA found on the knife matches an unknown man, but not Williams. “That means in our mind the actual killer is not him,” one of Williams’ lawyers, Kent Gipson, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday ahead of the court’s decision. “It certainly would give most reasonable people pause to say, ‘Should you be executing somebody when you’ve got reasonable evidence suggesting another man did it?'” After the ruling, Gipson told St. Louis Public Radio that he was surprised by the quick decision and planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Certainly something involving a claim of innocence that is this substantial, you would think they would at least write an opinion or at least a short opinion giving the reasons why they denied it,” Gipson said, “because that makes it more difficult to take it up to a higher court because they don’t know exactly on what basis the ruling was made.” Loree Anne Paradise, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Josh Hawley, said the office remains confident that Williams is guilty based on other evidence in the case. Greitens’ spokesman, Parker Briden, declined comment, saying only that the claim will need further review. Source: Legal News Post Missouri Supreme Court rejects request to stop execution

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Former Pakistan PM challenges disqualification by court

A Pakistani official says former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has filed petitions with the Supreme Court to challenge his disqualification and removal from office. Environment Minister Mushahidullah Khan, who is in Sharif’s party, said Tuesday that the former prime minister’s lawyers filed three petitions to review the verdict. The court disqualified Sharif after documents leaked from a Panama-based law firm showed that his family held previously undisclosed overseas assets. A five-judge panel last month disqualified Sharif, accusing him of concealing assets. Last week Sharif held a series of rallies across the country, criticizing the court ruling and seeking to whip up popular support. Source: Legal News Post Former Pakistan PM challenges disqualification by court

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German court orders sentence enforced in Chile abuse case

A court in western Germany has ruled that a German man must serve the sentence of a Chilean court for his role in the sexual abuse of children at a secretive German colony in Chile. The dpa news agency reported Monday that the court in the town of Krefeld said Hartmut Hopp must serve in Germany the five-year sentence given to him by a Chilean court in 2011 for 16 counts of aiding in the sexual abuse of children. The crimes took place at the Colonia Dignidad enclave, where residents were physically and psychologically abused for three decades beginning in 1961 after moving there from Germany. Hopp fled to Germany before the verdict took legal effect. The 73-year-old denies the charges and his attorney says he will appeal the ruling. Source: Legal News Post German court orders sentence enforced in Chile abuse case

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Hailey attorney named to Idaho District Court bench

Central Idaho attorney Ned Williamson has been named the new judge in Idaho’s 5th District Court. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter selected Williamson, a Hailey resident, to replace recently retired Judge Robert Elgee in Blaine County. The Times-News newspaper reports Williamson served as a deputy prosecutor in both Canyon and Blaine counties before opening his private law practice in 2001. Williamson was one of four candidates submitted to Otter for the judgeship. Otter said Williamson’s local experience will serve him well on the bench. Williamson said he’s honored by the selection and will dedicate himself to being a fair and impartial judge. Source: Legal News Post Hailey attorney named to Idaho District Court bench

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Open records policy set for administrative court records

Kentucky’s Supreme Court justices have approved an open records policy to guide how the public accesses administrative records in the state court system. State officials say the first open records policy for the Administrative Office of the Courts takes effect Aug. 15. The AOC is the operations arm of the state’s court system. The new policy describes how to submit an open records request to AOC. Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. says the judicial branch has long complied with the “spirit” of the open records law, but says it’s time to formalize its commitment in a written policy. First Amendment expert and Louisville lawyer Jon Fleischaker says he’s looked forward to the time when the public had definitive guidance on how to access the court system’s administrative records. Source: Legal News Post Open records policy set for administrative court records

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