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A panel of Fourth District Court judges says the city of Meridian must provide its own magistrate court facilities but freed Garden City from that requirement.

The Idaho Statesman says the judges ruled last month that Meridian must comply with a 1994 court order to provide its own court facilities.

The court panel found that Meridian's use of Ada County's magistrate court facilities has increased. The city could also contract with Ada County for its courthouse and personnel, which Boise does.

The panel said Garden City is not required to provide court facilities because its use has declined since 1994.

Ada County sought court relief in 2010 to have the cities pay their share. The cities argued in a November hearing that it should be relieved from the 1994 court order.

According to the order, the judges can only order Meridian to build a court facility, not mandate a financial arrangement.



The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from two former American International Group executives seeking to avoid civil fraud claims on charges they hid hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from investors.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said former chief executive officer Maurice Greenberg and former chief financial officer Howard Smith must stand trial.

executives of manipulating AIG's accounting records to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from investors.

The state seeks an order banning Greenberg from working in the securities industry or as an executive for any public company. It also is seeking $53 million, including bonuses Greenberg received during the period he is alleged to have manipulated the company's finances.

Greenberg was seen at Trump Tower in New York on Monday. He did not stop to speak with the press.



China's supreme court ruled Friday that a young man executed 21 years ago for rape and murder had been innocent, in a case that has drawn attention to problems in the legal system as well as the frequent application of the death penalty.

Nie Shubin was 20 at the time of his 1995 execution for crimes he was accused of committing in the northern city of Shijiazhuang in August of 1994. Another man, Wang Shujin, confessed to the crimes in 2005 while in police custody, although a legal review of the case did not get underway until 2014.

In its ruling, the court cited numerous examples of negligence and procedural errors by police and prosecutors, including the fact that Nie was singled out as a suspect "without a shred of evidence." It also said it couldn't rule out that Nie's testimony was coerced by torture or other means, a frequent accusation against the legal system that relies heavily on confessions to gain convictions.

China ordered speeded-up trials and executions during anti-crime campaigns in the 1990s, leading to frequent cutting of corners by legal authorities. Two years ago, another court ruled that 18-year-old Huugjilt, an ethnic Mongolian who was executed in 1996 for rape and murder, also was innocent after another man confessed to the crime. The court awarded Huugjilt's parents compensation.

However, under reforms in recent years, all death penalties are now automatically reviewed by the supreme court and the justices say executions are carried out only for the most heinous crimes. The exact number of people put to death is a state secret, but rights groups say China remains the world's top executioner.

Chinese legal scholar Xu Xin, a prominent advocate of legal reforms to reduce wrongful convictions, said Nie's case has emerged as highly representative of the country's problems with miscarriages of justice.

"In China's legal and social spheres, this case has garnered the greatest concern and has the most influence. Everyone's views on this case have basically been the same — that there was grave injustice," Xu said.

But the fact that it took this long for him to be exonerated shows the challenges ordinary people face in gaining legal redress in China, he said. "A vindication like this implies that compensation would have to be made, and someone could potentially be held responsible for the mistake, so that makes authorities unwilling to make an active push to correct the injustice," he said.

He credited the Chinese media, concerned defense lawyers and others who drew attention to the case for the court's overturning of the verdict, but said that the problem at the heart of the issue remained China's lack of an independent judiciary.


Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is calling fellow conservatives to continue the work of the late Justice Antonin Scalia to keep the power of the courts and other branches of government in check.

Thomas tells 1,700 people at a dinner in honor of Scalia that the Supreme Court has too often granted rights to people that are not found in the Constitution. He cited the decision in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal across the country.

Thomas said he and his longtime friend and colleague formed an "odd couple" of a white New Yorker and a black man from Georgia.

He paraphrased Lincoln's Gettysburg address to exhort the audience to "be dedicated to the unfinished business for which Justice Scalia gave his last full measure of devotion."


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