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The Sandra Day O’Connor Medal of Honor could turn out to be a limited edition decoration. For 11 years, law students at Seton Hall have awarded the prize to leading women in law or public policy. But, amid heated protest, the Catholic school says it’s rethinking whether the award fits with its religious values. The problem isn’t just this year’s winner, Maryanne Trump Barry, a 3rd Circuit judge who helped strike down a New Jersey ban on late-term abortions. For abortion foes, O’Connor herself is an enemy, since she helped smash a Nebraska ban on the procedure … How do you have a property dispute with a cat? That’s what the neighbor of a feline named Teddy Bear wants to know. In particular, New York state resident John Herrin would like to clarify who is responsible for upkeep on the property that was left to Teddy Bear and his now-deceased fellow pets by their doting owner, who died in 1996. Trustco Bank, which used part of $500,000 designated by the dead owner to hire a caretaker for the property, says it has its lawyers on the case … The U.N. Human Rights Commission voted 29-19 Wednesday to call for a worldwide moratorium on executions. The United States opposed the resolution, along with nations such as Japan, China, India and Saudi Arabia. Sixty-two U.N. member nations employ capital punishment, reports an anti-death penalty group … The outcome of the U.N.’s urgings became an academic question Wednesday for two condemned men who escaped death thanks to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The court decided Willie Mack Modden was retarded, and so reduced his sentence to life in prison. It’s the first such ruling by the court since the U.S. Supreme Court forbade executing retarded persons. The Texas court also remanded the case of Kenneth Vodochodsky, finding there was not enough evidence that he helped his roommate to murder a sheriff’s deputy. – Lori Patel

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