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Legal System

NEWS
October 12, 2007
Step by step, the freedoms, the accountability and the confidence in justice that Americans used to take for granted are being shorn away, and that "What next?" feeling leads too often to shrugged shoulders rather than real outrage. This week, the Supreme Court colluded with the administration to give the government legal immunity even when it abducts and tortures innocent people. All the government lawyers have to do is utter the magic phrase "state secrets" and apparently even the most appalling cases of misconduct can be granted a free pass, and draped in a cloak of darkness.
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SPORTS
By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,Sun Reporter | February 8, 2007
DURHAM, N.C. -- Seventeen North Carolina Central University undergraduates in a communications class were asked to think like a jury: Raise your hand if you believe the accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case fabricated her story. The students in the cramped cinderblock classroom looked at each other and at the reporter posing the issue. Not a single hand was raised. Students at the historically black state university, where the accuser is enrolled, mostly support the 28-year-old student, mother and exotic dancer whose allegations against three former Duke lacrosse players have been widely discredited in court and the media.
NEWS
By MARY GAIL HARE and MARY GAIL HARE,SUN REPORTER | August 13, 2006
Dolphin-shaped seats, gingham-covered tables and paintings of smiling fish are hardly typical decor for a center that houses prosecutors, social workers, counselors and sheriff's deputies, all working cooperatively on domestic violence and child abuse cases. But organizers of the center are hoping the atmosphere at Harford County's new Family Justice Center in downtown Bel Air will help put victims at ease and encourage them to cooperate with investigators. The waiting rooms are painted in soft, soothing hues and filled with quilts, books and toys.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | August 8, 2006
NEW ORLEANS -- After months of chaos in the criminal justice system here, Mayor C. Ray Nagin announced the first steps yesterday to replace the city's missing prosecutors, public defenders and police officers, along with its ruined courtrooms. A neighboring parish is lending prosecutors to New Orleans to help its overburdened district attorney's office deal with a significant backlog of cases, Nagin said. Pro bono assistance for poor defendants is on the way from the state's bar association, which is also paying for a new system to coordinate and track cases.
NEWS
By Maura Reynolds and Maura Reynolds,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 11, 2005
WASHINGTON - Congress took its first big step yesterday to implement President Bush's plan to overhaul the nation's legal system, approving a measure long sought by business to impose new restrictions on class-action lawsuits. Republicans hailed the lopsided vote - the bill was passed 72-26 - as an important legislative victory in their campaign against what they call "lawsuit abuse." The legislation has strong support in the House of Representatives, which is expected to pass it next week.
TOPIC
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,SUN STAFF | December 21, 2003
The trial of Saddam Hussein will not only determine the future of the deposed dictator, it will also have a great influence on the future of Iraq, laying the foundation for its legal system while helping to write the history of three decades of darkness, telling the story that Iraqis will take into their future. This trial is so important that it is no surprise it is a microcosm of the problems and possibilities that accompany almost every aspect of the United States' occupation. Bringing Hussein to justice must be a delicate balancing act between unilateral action and international involvement, between respect for Iraqi sovereignty and insistence on appropriate standards of jurisprudence, between recognizing the realities of a sketchy security situation and not being paralyzed into inaction.
NEWS
December 12, 2003
Paying parolees is the wrong way to use tax dollars The goal of the governor's RESTART (Re-entry Enforcement and Services Targeting Addiction, Rehabilitation and Treatment) plan is commendable, but the approach is rather like shutting the barn door after the horse has run off ("Union criticizes Ehrlich prison plan, fearing correctional-officer job loss," Dec. 3). Our legal system rarely sentences first-time offenders (and sometimes second- or third-time offenders) to prison. Therefore, most inmates have had several opportunities for rehabilitation before being incarcerated, by which time their behaviors and attitudes are deeply ingrained.
NEWS
By Wendy Solomon and Wendy Solomon,THE MORNING CALL | August 3, 2003
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Two farmers' wheat crops burn. They say someone else caused the fire and now want compensation for their loss. It should be an open-and-shut case for Philadelphia insurance defense lawyer John Barrett, who has spent his career investigating personal and property injury cases. Go to the scene, interview witnesses, research the deed to the property, make a decision based on case law and jury awards. That was how Barrett practiced law in the United States, where there is a more than 250-year-old legal system.
NEWS
By Jason Song and Jason Song,SUN STAFF | June 2, 2003
When Gustavo Torres asked his class, "Who works in front of the 7-Eleven on Broadway?" in upper Fells Point, he got a variety of answers: braceros, jornaleros, esquineros -- all Spanish words for "day workers." And what distinguishes these people? asked Torres, executive director of CASA of Maryland, a nonprofit legal aid group. "They don't know their rights," one class member replied. Torres and other volunteers with CASA of Maryland have been holding classes in the Fells Point area to teach Baltimore's immigrant workers, mainly Latino men, about those rights.
NEWS
By Lisa Goldberg and Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF | May 18, 2003
Adriana Ramos Bock figured she would just make a few phone calls and, in the process, help a young Salvadoran immigrant, paralyzed by a gunman's bullet, navigate his way through Maryland's legal and health care system. After all, the Mexican-born immigrant herself once floundered through an English-speaking world and felt the glare of annoyance from people put off by her heavily accented English. So when she met Oscar Antonio Lopez Sanchez, who uses a wheelchair, and heard his frustrated tale of unanswered questions and miscommunication, she decided she would offer whatever help she could.
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