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US Senate Judiciary Committee concludes confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson – JURIST

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The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday wrapped up four-day hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was nominated by President Biden to replace Associate Justice Steven Breyer. The final day of the hearings began with the swearing-in of Senate President Richard Durbin. American Bar Association (ABA) witness evaluation testimony. This testimony was provided by Judge Ann Claire Williams, Joseph Drayton, and Jane Veta. Judge Ann Claire Williams is the chair of the ABA Standing Committee that led the witness evaluation testimonies. Williams stated that Jackson received unanimous approval from the ABA Standing Committee, which conducts nonpartisan peer-review evaluations. Williams described Jackson as “well qualified” and endorsed Jackson’s nomination. Williams went on to state that, “to receive well-qualified status, one must be a preeminent member of the legal profession, have outstanding legal ability, have exceptional experience, and meet the highest standards of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament.” . DC Circuit Representative and Co-Lead Examiner Jane Veta then provided witness evaluation testimony on integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. Integrity was described as character and reputation within the legal profession. Professional competence was described as a high degree of legal scholarship, strong analytical and writing skills, and overall excellence. Judicial temperament was described as compassionate, decisive, open-minded, nonjudgmental, and committed to equal justice under the law. Veta vehemently stated that “no judge, defense attorney or prosecutor expressed any concern about it, and uniformly rejected any accusation of bias.” In short, Jackson was granted “well-qualified” status by the ABA Standing Committee. The lead evaluator, Joseph Drayton, then provided insight into Jackson’s writings and his contributions to shaping the law. Jackson also received a “well rated” rating in this category. Drayton stated that multiple groups of judges, legal professionals, and academics have confirmed that Justice Jackson has the ability, as required by our standard of a Supreme Court nominee, to communicate clearly, persuasively, in a manner that harmonizes bodies of laws and to provide court-reducing guidance in the legal community and has done so on a significant range of complex issues. In short, the ABA found all allegations that Jackson was “soft on crime” baseless. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote April 4 on the nomination of Jackson, who currently sits on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Jackson could be confirmed by the Senate without any Republican support in the evenly split chamber. with Vice President Harris casting a swing vote. If confirmed, Jackson will be the first African-American woman on the Supreme Court.

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Trump Affiliated Businessman Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Political Donation Crimes – JURIST

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The Justice Department said Wednesday that Lev Parnas, a businessman involved in the Trump-Ukraine affair, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on multiple counts related to soliciting donations from a foreign national. Parnas was convicted on charges of “conspiring to make political contributions of a foreign national in conjunction with soliciting and aiding and abetting the making thereof, conspiracy to make fictitious donations, participation in a wire fraud conspiracy, and making false statements and falsifying records. Parnas will also pay more than $2 million in restitution. The charges of making political contributions by a foreign national stem from events that occurred in March 2018. Parnas and other associates wanted to launch a business to obtain retail marijuana licenses in the US. The group turned over hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions before the 2018 election to curry favor with anyone who could help Parnas and his associates obtain these licenses. Parnas and an associate made a donation of $325,000 and falsely claimed that the donation was from Global Power Producers (GEP). Parnas also lied about the fact that he was receiving bogus donations and the contributions were not his own money. The fraud guarantee charges are from between 2012 and 2019. Parnas planned to defraud several people by convincing them to invest in his company. He said the contributions would be used solely for his business. Instead, the payments were withdrawn in cash, placed in personal bank accounts, and used for personal expenses. Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated: “Parnas also defrauded the American public by pumping Russian money into US elections and lying about the origin of funds for political contributions. My office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who put their personal and financial benefit above their country and their investors.” The office’s Public Corruption Unit is handling the Parnas case.

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Indonesian parliament passes law to create more provinces in Papua amid fears of government crackdown – JURIST

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The Indonesian People’s Representative Council on Thursday approved legislation to establish three new provinces in the Papua region. The decision was made during the 26th plenary session when all members unanimously agreed to pass three bills that established the new provinces. Currently, the easternmost region of Indonesia is divided into two regions, Papua and West Papua. However, it will now be divided into five provinces. The three new provinces have been named, South Papua Province with Merauke as its capital, Central Papua Province with Nabire as its capital, and Papua Mountains Province with Jaya wijaya as its capital. Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, Chairperson of the Council Commission, stated that: The purpose of partitioning Papua is to speed up equitable development, speed up the improvement of public services, speed up community welfare and uplift the dignity of the indigenous people of Papua. Papua. Taking into account political, administrative and legal aspects, socio-cultural unity, human resource preparation, basic infrastructure, economic capacity, future developments and aspirations of the Papuan people. Veronica Koman of Amnesty International Australia expressed concern about how the legislation would affect Papuans. She said that by “cutting and dividing Papua into smaller administrative units, [the Indonesian government] hopes to divide and conquer Papuan identity and resistance.”

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German court sentences 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard to 5 years in prison – JURIST

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Germany’s Neuruppin Regional Court in Brandenburg on Tuesday convicted a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder and sentenced him to five years in prison. Former SS guard Josef Schuetz was indicted for his involvement in the “execution by firing squad of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942” and for operating the gas chambers at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Josef denied all the alleged charges and claimed that he worked as a farm laborer near Pasewalk in northeast Germany. However, the court began the trial last year in October. Judge Udo Lechtermann noted that the defendant “voluntarily supported mass extermination” in his role. He further said: The court is satisfied that you worked as a guard in the concentration camp for about three years, despite your claims to the contrary. You saw how deported people were cruelly tortured and killed there every day for three years. Sachsenhausen saw 200,000 people imprisoned, with at least 30,000 deaths. Joseph is considered the oldest person to be convicted of Holocaust crimes. Previously, a 93-year-old former guard was convicted of 5,232 murders and a 95-year-old former field secretary was charged with 10,000 counts of accessory to murder, rulings pending. Joseph can appeal his sentence to the Federal Court of Justice within a week.

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