U.S. Courts News
Indiana court to hear woman's appeal of feticide conviction - 2016/05/28
Attorneys for an Indiana woman found guilty of killing the premature infant she delivered after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs will ask an appeals court Monday to throw out the convictions that led to her 20-year prison sentence. At issue is Indiana's feticide statute, which the defense says was "passed to protect pregnant women from violence" that could harm their developing fetus, not to prosecute women for their own abortions. The state says that law "is not limited to third-party actors" and can apply to pregnant women. Attorneys for 35-year-old Purvi Patel will urge the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse her 2015 convictions on charges of feticide and neglect of a dependent resulting in death. The state's attorney general's office will defend the northern Indiana jury's decision. Patel, of Granger, was arrested in July 2013 after she sought treatment at a local hospital for profuse bleeding after delivering a 1.5 pound infant boy and putting his body in a trash bin behind her family's restaurant. Court records show Patel purchased abortion-inducing drugs online through a pharmacy in Hong Kong, took those drugs and delivered a premature baby in her home bathroom.
Defendant pleads guilty in stock, money-laundering scheme - 2016/05/27
Federal prosecutors in New York say a Belize resident has pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy for helping clients profit off illegal stock trades and then laundering more than $250 million. U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers announced the plea Monday by Robert Bandfield of IPC Corp. Capers says Bandfield, a U.S. citizen, incorporated more than 5,000 shell companies in Belize and the West Indies for securities and tax fraud schemes. Money was laundered through pre-paid debit cards. He faces up to 20 years in prison. He's agreed to forfeit $1 million.
Maryland high court issues opinion in Gray case - 2016/05/25
Maryland's highest court has released an opinion explaining its recent decision to force an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray to testify against his colleagues. The Maryland Court of Appeals issued its opinion Friday. Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbara writes that compelling Officer William Porter to testify while he awaits retrial is not a violation of his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. The judge says there are ways to ensure that the testimony, which is protected by immunity, doesn't make it into his retrial. Porter's trial ended in a hung jury in December. Gray died April 19, 2015, a week after his neck was broken in a police van. Six officers were charged in his death. One of them, Officer Edward Nero, is currently on trial.
Court rules non-U.S. citizens can be deported if convicted of minor crimes - 2016/05/19
The Supreme Court is making it easier for the government to deport or otherwise remove people who are not U.S. citizens if they are convicted of seemingly minor state crimes. The justices ruled 5-3 Thursday that a man who spent 23 years living in New York as a lawful permanent resident can be barred from re-entering the country because of a 1999 conviction for attempted arson. George Luna Torres had served one day in prison and five years of probation after pleading guilty in state court but otherwise had a clean record since his parents brought him into the country from the Dominican Republic in 1983. But the government argued that the state law conviction was equivalent to an aggravated felony for purposes of immigration law. Under immigration law, a lawful permanent resident can be deported or denied re-entry to the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony. Those offenses include certain federal crimes as well as state offenses that share the same elements.br>
Court rejects blocking health warning on sugary drinks ads - 2016/05/18
A federal court in Northern California has rejected an effort to block a new San Francisco law that requires health warnings on ads for sugary drinks. U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen's decision Tuesday clears the way for the law approved by city lawmakers last year to take effect in July. The ordinance requires the warnings to appear on ads for soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages that appear on billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters and stadiums within the city. The labels would read: "WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay." The American Beverage Association and other groups have sued the city to overturn the law. Chen denied their request for an injunction to keep the measure on hold while the case proceeds.