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Prosecutors want South Carolina's highest court to reinstate the conviction of a Dillon County man whose dogs attacked and killed a 10-year-old boy in 2006.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday hears an appeal in the case of Bentley Collins. In 2012, the state Court of Appeals overturned Collins' involuntary manslaughter conviction and prison sentence, ruling a judge shouldn't have allowed prosecutors to show pictures of the boy taken before his autopsy.

The photographs showed the extent of the boy's injuries, including how the dogs mauled him so badly his bones were exposed and his ears and nose were eaten.

The judges said the pathologist testified to the injuries, so the photographs did nothing more than rile the jury's emotions.


India's top court on Tuesday issued a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents.

The Supreme Court directed the federal and state governments to include transgendered people in all welfare programs for the poor, including education, health care and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges. Previously, transgendered Indians could only identify themselves as male or female in all official documents.

The decision was praised as giving relief to the estimated 3 million Indians who are transgender.

The court noted that it was the right of every human being to choose their gender while granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.

"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender.' This verdict has come as a great relief for all of us. Today I am proud to be an Indian," said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who, along with a legal agency, had petitioned the court.

The court's decision would apply to individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

"The spirit of the (Indian) Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender," the court said in its order.

The Supreme Court specified its ruling would only apply to transgender people but not to gays, lesbians or bisexuals. India's LGBT communities have been protesting the court's recent decision to reinstate a colonial-era law banning gay sex, which they say will make them vulnerable to police harassment.

The court also ordered the government to put in place public awareness campaigns to lessen the social stigma against transgender people.

Salvatore Scanio - Ludwig & Robinson PLLC.

•  Law Firm News     updated  2014/04/15 14:30

Salvatore Scanio, Attorney

Salvatore Scanio, Attorney

T: 202-289-7605
O: 202-289-1800
F: 202-289-1804

Mr. Scanio has extensive experience incomplex domestic and international litigation and regulatory matters, involving federal and state banking, financial transactions, insurance coverage, and contract and other commercial disputes.

Mr. Scanio represents banks, insurers and other companies in cases involving negotiable instruments under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), electronic bank payments, fraud, fiduciary duty, accounting, lender liability, loan losses, lost profits, statutory and regulatory violations, professional liability, class actions, and claims against the federal government. He advises clients as to liability, defenses and loss recovery on a wide range of bank fraud and corporate fraud schemes, including check fraud, credit and debit card fraud, unauthorized electronic funds transfers (EFT) including fraudulentwire transfers and ACH transactions, identity theft, check kiting, deposit account fraud, malware attacks, cybercrime, account takeovers,loan and mortgage fraud, embezzlement, and bank insiderfraud.

Ludwig & Robinson PLLC. Attorneys


Miss. high court: Prisoner can get workers' comp

•  Press Releases     updated  2014/04/08 11:53

A former utility worker who lost his hands when he was shocked by power lines can receive workers' compensation, even though officials argued he tried to hurt himself to avoid a homicide investigation, the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled.

Lonnie Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the homicide case and is now serving a 12-year prison sentence. Smith, a former alderman in Ripley, Miss., was injured in April 2010 while working in a bucket-lift truck for the Tippah Electric Power Association.

In its 6-3 ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission to determine the benefits Smith should receive. The court's majority rejected the power association's claim that Smith intentionally grabbed the power lines to injure himself or commit suicide.

According to court records, no one could say they saw Smith grab the power lines in a deliberate manner. Smith said he got entangled in the wires after he dropped a knife in the bucket and reached down to get it.

A safety expert for Tippah testified the lines Smith allegedly grabbed were three feet, seven inches apart. The distance, the expert testified, would have made it difficult for Smith to accidentally touch both lines at the same time.

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