A member of Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect in Idaho was sentenced to 90 days in jail after admitting to abusing young boys in his home.
Nathan C. Jessop, 49, was given the sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of misdemeanor injury to a child. His sentence, which included 360 additional days of prison time, was suspended. Jessop reportedly was in charge of a home in Idaho where Mormon parents would send their children on "repentance missions." He admitted to physically disciplining nine boys and locking at least one of them in a furnace room for two days.
"What we are talking about is just an individual and what our basic assumptions are about how we treat kids and how we protect their health and safety, and I think that's really what the case was all about," Prosecutor Stephen Herzog told azcentral. more >>
Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner dubbed the "Blade Runner," will be facing sentencing in October, after his trial regarding the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide instead of murder on Sept. 12.
His sentence will be carried out on Oct. 13 later this month.
Pistorius had been initially acquitted of murder but he had told authorities that he thought an intruder had breached his home and was hiding behind the bathroom door. Pistorius had shot his girlfriend four times. The sentence will be carried out by Judge Thokozile Masipa and will range from a timed suspension and a fine, or up to 15 years in jail. Judge Masipa was also the one who carried out the verdict. more >>
A Pennsylvania wedding venue will not have to refund a deposit to a straight couple wedding party that disagrees with the owner's stance on same-sex weddings.
A lawsuit over a security deposit placed at the Inne was dismissed because the judge agreed that the suit was "improperly filed," according to Liberty Counsel, which represents a banquet hall called the Inne of the Abingtons.
"A Christian business owner should not have his contracts dishonored or be hauled into court because he operates his business according to conscience," Liberty Counsel senior litigator Roger Gannam said. "This is a victory for religious liberty." more >>
The State of Oklahoma has announced reforms to its procedure for executing prisoners.
The reforms come in the wake of an investigation into the death of prisoner Clayton Lockett, who took 43 minutes to pass away after his initial injection of midazolam. The drug was not injected in a proper manner, allowing Lockett to move around and moan before he was finally declared dead. Now, with new reforms, the state is looking to "recover" from the incident and continue with its procedures.
Midazolam will still be used as the drug for the procedure, but the dose will increase to five times what was normally given to inmates. There will also be more training requirements for prison staff and members of execution teams, as well as plans put in place should an execution go awry. Part of the problem with the Lockett execution was that there was no equipment to try and prolong his life should that have been the order given by Governor Mary Fallin or the prison warden. more >>
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday against an earlier ruling allowing doctors to provide suicide drugs, by throwing out a case against the Swiss government. The woman at the center of the lawsuit was discovered to have committed suicide more than years ago.
"Because the government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death, we are pleased to see this bad decision thrown out despite the extraordinary circumstances," said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. "The lawsuit's claim that a person should be able to do whatever he or she pleases does not override national laws rightfully designed to protect the weak and vulnerable."
The law group, which had filed a brief with the Grand Chamber in 2013, noted that an earlier ECHR ruling against the Swiss government was nullified after the cbhamber discovered that Alda Gross, who had wanted to be provided with suicide drugs, had committed suicide in November 2011. The court was not notified of that fact, however, nor was it made known that the woman used the same poison to take her own life as the type she was attempting to secure legal rights to through the lawsuit. more >>
The supposed standard for child custody in family courts is the "best interest of the child." The Vermont Supreme Court has now extended that to the best interest of the dog.
Daniel and Laura were divorcing, and the issue before the court was custody of their beloved 11-year-old German wirehaired pointer dog, Belle. Both had strong emotional ties to Belle and a record of good care. While awaiting court judgment, they made a temporary agreement to share time with the dog.
Previously, a dog was considered property to be allocated like other tangible assets such as a house and car. But this new Vermont precedent declares that the best interest of the dog should be the deciding factor. more >>