Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

Anything related to the court system, sentencing of offenders, or incarceration issues

No death penalty for ISIS pair

Two British members of the Islamic State charged with murdering Western hostages in Iraq and Syria would not be sentenced to death if found guilty, the U.S. says. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, stripped of their citizenship and now in U.S. military custody in Iraq, have been at the center of a legal dispute which has stalled progress, but U.S. Attorney General William Barr has told U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel that if a U.S. court did opt for capital punishment, “it will not be carried out.” [node:read-more:link]

International court sanctioned by U.S.

Senior officers of the International Criminal Court, including its chief prosecutor, are being sanction by the U.S. for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says are “illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction.” Created by the UN in 2002 and never recognized by the U.S., which calls it a “corrupted institution,” the ICC is currently investigating whether U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. [node:read-more:link]

Return of the JEDI

Microsoft has again been awarded the U.S. Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud computing contract – but the journey may not be over yet. The latest decision by the Department of Defense follows a 10-month legal battle challenge by Amazon after Microsoft was awarded the original contract. Amazon could continue an outstanding protest before the Court of Federal Claims. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP slow to tighten security

A year after Cameron Ortis, director its national intelligence coordination centre was charged with sharing information with a foreign entity, the RCMP evidently has not upgraded its protocols despite an internal review. [node:read-more:link]

Iran rejects legal action

Iran has rejected two proposed Canadian class-action lawsuits over its missile shoot-down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 shortly after takeoff from Tehran last January. “The Canadian court has no jurisdiction,” a foreign ministry spokesman says. However, a Toronto lawyer involved in one action says the case is within Canadian jurisdiction through the 2012 Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. reservist accused of spying

An Army reservist who also is a New York City police officer has been charged with being an “intelligence asset” for China, monitoring the Tibetan independence movement in the U.S. Court files state that Tibetan expatriate Baimadajie Angwang worked for handlers at the Chinese consulate in New York. [node:read-more:link]

Daesh “Beatles” cleared for trial

Britain has provided evidence which expected to clear the way for trial of two British expatriates held by the U.S. in Iraq. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who have denied the charges, are accused of belonging to an IS cell dubbed “The Beatles” who were involved in Islamic State executions of Western hostages. The evidence was handed over after Britain's High Court rejected a request by the mother of one of the suspects to block the transfer. The U.S. cleared the way for cooperation by stating that the pair would not be executed if found guilty. [node:read-more:link]

O’Regan defamation defence costly

The cost to taxpayers of defending then Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan in a small claims court defamation case has topped $213,500, according to information prepared by the Justice Department but released in the Senate. Former RCAF intelligence officer Sean Bruyea sued the minister (now at Natural Resources) for $25,000, saying that he had been defamed in a newspaper article written by O’Regan. The suit has since been settled without disclosure.O’Regan defamation defence costly [node:read-more:link]

ISIS “Beatles” in FBI custody

Two British men who joined an Islamic State cell dubbed “The Beatles”, and who are alleged to participated in kidnappings in Iraq and Syria, have been charged with terrorism offences arising from the killing of four U.S. hostages. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who have pleaded not guilty and are facing up to life imprisonment, are in FBI custody pending a federal court appearance in Virginia. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. election results unclear

No decisive winner in the U.S. presidential election is evident despite President Donald Trump’s insistence, while awaiting final counting of mailed ballots, that the incumbent Republicans had “already won it.” He also repeated his unsubstantiated claim that there would be “fraud” and that the Republican-dominated Supreme Court likely would have to intervene. [node:read-more:link]

Former Mexican minister released

Mexico’s defence minister from 2012 to 2018, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, has been freed by the U.S. so that his own government can investigate alleged involvement in drug-related corruption. Cienfuegos was arrested in Los Angeles last month but in announcing the decision to drop criminal charges, U.S. officials said Nov. 17 that “important foreign policy considerations outweigh the government’s interest in pursuing the prosecution.” [node:read-more:link]

Trump pardons convicted advisor

Michael Flynn, the retired U.S. Army General who pleaded guilty twice to lying to FBI investigators about interaction with Russian contacts during Donald Trump’s transition into power in 2016, has received a full presidential pardon. Flynn, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2021 to 2014 and became Trump’s National Security Advisor, was fired in February 2017. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey sentences coup plotters

Nearly 500 persons accused of participating in a 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, including 337 military officers, have been sentenced to life imprisonment. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government said the attempted overthrow directed from Akinci air base near Ankara resulted in 251 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries. [node:read-more:link]

Drone oversight court ruling

A German administrative court has ruled that the government cannot be compelled ensure that U.S. drone strikes controlled from Ramstein comply with international law. The case was brought by human rights groups on behalf of Yemenis whose relatives were killed in a 2012 strike. The ruling restores a lower court’s finding that the government could balance its legal obligations with “foreign and defense policy interests.” [node:read-more:link]

Guantanamo: unfinished business

More than a decade after then President Barack Obama said he would shut down the notorious Guantanamo prison at a U.S. Navy base in Cuba, it remains a headache for Washington. Deteriorating infrastructure at the complex, where 1,500 military personnel guard 40 prisoners, has become a serious issue. The fact that 14 are Central Intelligence Agency detainees evidently has been a significant complication. The facility is estimated cost $13 million per prisoner annually. [node:read-more:link]


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