National Briefs: Court allows groin searches at GITMO

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WASHINGTON — Military guards may continue to touch the groins of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, when they search for contraband before the prisoners are moved to speak with their lawyers, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. Because of the procedure, which was put in place in May 2013, some inmates have stopped meeting with or calling their lawyers.

In July 2013, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the military to stop the searches, in which guards wedge their hands between the genitals and thighs of detainees as many as four times when moving them to a meeting and back to their cells.

Judge Lamberth said the practice was unnecessary and intended to “actively discourage” the prisoners from meeting with lawyers.

But on Friday, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously reversed his ruling, saying the judiciary must defer to the government’s assertions that, for security reasons, guards needed to conduct more thorough searches.

U.S. tortured detainees

WASHINGTON — The United States tortured al-Qaida detainees captured after the 9/​11 attacks, President Barak Obama said Friday, in some of his most expansive comments to date about a controversial set of CIA practices that he banned after taking office.

“We tortured some folks,” Mr. Obama said at a televised news conference at the White House. “We did some things that were contrary to our values.”

Addressing the impending release of a Senate report that criticizes CIA treatment of detainees, Mr. Obama said he believed the mistreatment stemmed from the pressure national security officials felt to forestall another attack. He said Americans should not be too “sanctimonious,” about passing judgment through the lens of a seemingly safer present day.

Execution drugs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on states to be more transparent about the drug cocktails used in executions in the wake of a series of botched lethal injections that have renewed a national debate over the death penalty.

States that impose capital punishment have turned to new suppliers of chemical combinations for lethal injections after European drug makers objected to having their products used for that purpose.

Girl not fit to stand trial

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A Wisconsin girl accused of luring a friend into the woods and repeatedly stabbing her to please Slenderman, a fictional Internet character, is not mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Friday.

The girl, Morgan Geyser, and her friend, Anissa Weier, both 12, have been charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide. They are accused of luring a classmate into the woods and stabbing her 19 times in late May in Waukesha, a western suburb of Milwaukee, the morning after a sleepover.

NYPD used chokehold

NEW YORK — A police chokehold, as well as chest compression, were the causes of death for Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died two weeks ago in a confrontation with police, the city medical examiner’s office said Friday.

Ruling Mr. Garner’s death a “homicide,” meaning death of a person caused by another, the city medical examiner said Mr. Garner’s asthma, obesity and heart disease also were contributing factors in his death.

Mr. Garner, 43, died after police wrangled him to the ground as they tried to handcuff him. One officer, Dominick Pantaleo, was seen on amateur video grabbing Mr. Garner around the neck and pushing his head onto the sidewalk.

Compiled from wire reports

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