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Retired Wisconsin judge shot to death in his home by suspect he sentenced to prison in 2005 – JURIST

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Retired Wisconsin Judge John Roemer was shot and killed Friday morning at his Wisconsin home. At around 6:30 am Friday, a call was received notifying the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department “of an armed person and two shots fired at a New Lisbon Township residence. Police were unable to negotiate with Douglas K. Uhde, who was inside the retired Roemer’s home. The Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team decided to enter the former judge’s residence around 10:17 a.m. and found retired Roemer strapped to a chair, deceased. ” by Uhde, whom Roemer would have sentenced to prison six years earlier. Uhde was found inside Roemer’s home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement transported Uhde to a medical facility where he remains in critical condition. The American Bar Association issued a statement Monday expressing its sadness and shock at the murder of Judge Roemer, noting that “[j]Judicial independence is the foundation of our democracy.” The ABA said the physical safety of judges is imperative and “must be a priority for our justice system to function effectively.” In response to the murder of Judge Roemer, the ABA called on the US Congress to act to improve the safety of our judges with stronger measures and more funding. Passage of the bipartisan Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act would improve judicial security by restricting the disclosure and publication of judges’ personally identifiable information.

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Two more charged for the death of 53 migrants in Texas – JURIST

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US authorities on Wednesday charged two additional suspects in the deaths of several dozen immigrants whose bodies were discovered in a truck in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday. These latest charges are in addition to charges filed Tuesday against two men suspected of involvement in the incident. The San Antonio Police Department discovered a truck carrying about 100 immigrants across the border on Monday. Piles of bodies were found inside the truck with the remaining victims collapsed next to it. In total, 39 men and 12 women died in the incident. Charges were filed Wednesday against the alleged truck driver, Homero Zamorano, as well as an alleged co-conspirator, Christian Martinez. Zamorano was charged with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death, while Martinez was charged with a single count of conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants. Given the incident’s status as the deadliest migrant smuggling incident on record in the United States, the US Department of Justice announced that if the defendants are convicted, they will face life in prison or capital punishment. Due to the incident, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters at a Wednesday news conference that the state will immediately begin additional truck checkpoints like the one found in San Antonio to prevent a recurrence. a similar tragedy.

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Columbia Truth Commission publishes final report on six decades of conflict – JURIST

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The Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (Truth Commission) of Colombia presented its final report on the prolonged Colombian conflict on Wednesday, reporting that approximately 450,664 people were killed in a period of almost six decades. The Truth Commission was established by a peace agreement (2016) between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). It was established to document human rights abuses and highlight the causes of the conflict. The 900-page report included 30,000 interviews with people ranging from soldiers to five former Colombian presidents. The report states that the consequences of the conflict are “massive and intolerable” and that the non-combatant civilian population, especially the ethnic population, was the most affected during the conflict. The report also highlights that “of every ten people killed violently in the armed conflict-eight were civilians”, and documents that the number of disappeared is around 121,768, which represents 90% of civilian casualties. The statistics highlighted in the report indicate that 50,000 people were kidnapped between 1990 and 2018; More than 7 million people fled their homes; 34,000 children were forcibly recruited by the guerrillas; and 56,000 civilians were killed by the Colombian armed forces, including 6,300 people killed in remote areas. The Truth Commission recognized US financial support, recommended changing the framework of Colombia’s armed and police forces, and advised authorities to reassess military targets. The report also suggested separating the National Police from the Ministry of Defense. Furthermore, the report urged the Colombian government to repeal its militarized approach to drug policy and reformulate drug policy in coordination with the US and create a new framework to move from a prohibitionist perspective towards legal regulation. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, supported the Truth Commission report and said: I want to pay tribute to the Colombian Truth Commission at a historic moment by presenting its final report today. I would also like to pay tribute to the victims, whose courage and persistence were the basis for the creation of the Commission… The work of the Truth Commission has highlighted the causes of the conflict and exposed its painful reality. Without truth, reconciliation is not possible. Without reconciliation, the risk of repetition remains real.

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Environmental groups challenge Biden administration’s auctions of oil and gas reserves – JURIST

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A coalition of 10 environmental groups sued the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and its Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday for resuming auctions to lease public land with oil and gas reserves in eight western states. Environmental groups say the auctions violate two laws and are inconsistent with President Joe Biden’s climate-related promises. Within days of taking office in January 2021, Biden suspended the Office’s powers to implement fossil fuel lease auctions and ordered the DOI to halt the oil. and gas leases on public land pending “comprehensive review and reconsideration…including potential climate and other impacts associated with oil and gas activities.” Although the DOI published a report in November as directed, the report did not study the environmental impacts of the leases. In April, the Bureau posted lease sale notices for 173 parcels of public land over 144,000 acres, nearly 120,000 of which are in Wyoming, where auctions began Wednesday. The plaintiffs, including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Dakota Resources Council and the Sierra Club, assert that the approval to auction these lands violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. (FLPMA). Under 40 CFR §1508.1, all federal agencies must prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for each federal action that “significantly affects the quality of the human environment.” However, an agency may waive the preparation of an EIS if it can demonstrate through an environmental assessment (EA) that the federal action will not have a “significant effect on the human environment.” With respect to leases, the Office issued seven EAs finding no significant environmental impact, saying it found no “thresholds set for NEPA analysis to contextualize quantifiable greenhouse gas emissions.” [federal public] land”. The plaintiffs point out that the extraction of fossil fuels from federal public lands contributes to 24% of the greenhouse gas emissions of the US and the states of the western US, where the parcels of land are located, are face an unprecedented “megadrought” and wildfires exacerbated by climate change. In light of this and the availability of various standards in the scientific literature for assessing environmental impact, the plaintiffs allege that the Office’s failure to prepare an EIS was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with due process. . They are asking the court to find the defendants in violation of NEPA and FLPMA, order them to conduct an EIS and nullify their lease authorizations, thus blocking the auctions. Two other groups, The Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth, filed a separate lawsuit. against Wyoming auctions with similar NEPA claims.

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