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Thursday, Apr 24th

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US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

James ColeThe Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.

The initiative is part of a broader Obama administration effort to trim the nation's prison population, ease sentencing disparities arising from drug possession crimes and scale back the use of strict punishments for drug offenders without a violent past. The goal is to create a larger pool of eligible prisoners the Justice Department can recommend to the president to consider for shorter sentences.

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US ordered to release memo in Anwar al-Awlaki drone killing

al-Awlaki memoThe US government must publicly disclose in redacted form secret papers describing its legal justification for using drones to kill citizens suspected of terrorism overseas, because President Barack Obama and senior government officials have commented on the subject, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The 2nd US circuit court of appeals in New York ruled in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and two reporters for the New York Times. In 2011, they sought any documents in which Department of Justice lawyers had discussed the highly classified "targeted-killing" program.

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Oklahoma to proceed with lethal injection amid confusion within courts

Oklahoma executionOklahoma plans to kill Clayton Lockett by lethal injection on Tuesday, after judges could not agree which court has the authority to stay his execution amid questions over the constitutionality of the state’s capital punishment law.

The Oklahoma court of criminal appeals and the state supreme court last week both declined to stay the executions of Lockett and Charles Warner, scheduled for April 29, with each court saying it did not have the authority to grant a stay.

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Guantánamo Bay detainees' release upon end of Afghanistan war 'unlikely'

Gitmo detaineesTypically, when a war ends, so does the combatants’ authority to detain the other side’s fighters. But as the conclusion of the US war in Afghanistan approaches, the inmate population of Guantánamo Bay is likely to be an exception – and, for the Obama administration, the latest complication to its attempt to close the infamous wartime detention complex.

In December, when President Barack Obama and his Nato allies formally end their combat role in Afghanistan, US officials indicate there is unlikely to be a corresponding release of detainees at Guantánamo who were captured during the country's longest conflict.

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Apartheid Abuse Cases Against Ford, IBM Go Ahead

FordA federal judge on Thursday declined to toss out decade-old lawsuits that accuse IBM Corp. and Ford Motor Co. of supporting apartheid by letting their subsidiaries sell computers and cars to the South African government.

The three lawsuits seek to hold IBM and Ford responsible for race-based injustices including rape, torture and murder under apartheid, a system of race-based segregation and discrimination against nonwhites that ended 20 years ago.

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Guantánamo judge to CIA: Disclose ‘black site’ details to USS Cole defense lawyers

Gitmo trialThe military judge in the USS Cole bombing case has ordered the U.S. government to give defense lawyers details — names, dates and places — of the CIA’s secret overseas detention and interrogation of the man accused of planning the bombing, two people who have read the still-secret order said Thursday.

Army Col. James L. Pohl issued the five-page order Monday. It was sealed as document 120C on the war court website Thursday morning and, according to those who’ve read it, orders the agency to provide a chronology of the overseas odyssey of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 49, from his capture in Dubai in 2002 to his arrival at Guantánamo four years later.

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Can the US Government Confiscate a Citizen's Passport for No Apparent Reason? It Just Did

Nader el DajaniWhen two FBI agents called Nader el-Dajani in August 2012 and asked if he could meet at Starbucks for a chat, he instead invited them to his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for coffee and tea. The 55-year-old businessman, who lives in Bahrain for most of each year, hadn't been charged with a crime, and the FBI agents never explained why they were interested in him. Dajani didn't have to tell the agents anything. But he did.

He explained that, a few months earlier, he'd been stopped and questioned by Department of Homeland Security officers at a London airport because he was carrying multiple cellphones, which he uses during his international travels. He readily answered the agents' questions about his travels in the Middle East—where he owns several businesses—and his knowledge of the region. He thought it was the right thing to do. "I told them everything," he says. "I was open." He assumed that cooperating with the bureau would make his life easier.

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