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Georgia executed death row inmate Kelly Gissendaner Wednesday morning, having defeated an 11th hour legal appeal that sought to spare her life. Gissendaner, who was sentenced to death for conspiring with her boyfriend to kill her husband, became Georgia's first female prisoner to be executed in 70 years.

Advocates, including Pope Francis, had argued for clemency. The Pontifex Maximus wrote a letter urging Georgia to commute her sentence and her children attended a parole board hearing to argue on her behalf, missing her execution in the process. Despite that advocacy, Gissendaner was executed soon after a last minute 1983 complaint was rejected by the Eleventh Circuit last night.

Battery Charges Against Judge Mark Fuller Dropped

Last year, denizens of the Eleventh Circuit were shocked to learn that U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller had been charged with battery after his wife made a 911 call from a hotel.

Fuller was formally charged with battery, but that was just the start of his problems. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reassigned his cases and suspended him from receiving new ones. Both of Alabama's senators called for his to step down. Now, though, at least the criminal component of this saga is over: The battery charge against him has been dismissed.

Ala. Supreme Court Orders Halt to Same-Sex Marriages

Just when you thought it was safe to get a same-sex marriage in Alabama, the Alabama Supreme Court -- and not just Chief Justice Roy Moore -- issued a 148-page opinion yesterday ordering some of the state's probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The petition for a writ of mandamus was brought by the State of Alabama, along with another probate court judge, and asked for "a clear judicial pronouncement that Alabama law prohibits the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

Federal Judge 'Once Again' Tells Ala. to Let Gay Couples Marry

Same-sex marriage remains a thorny issue in Alabama, where on January 23, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade found Alabama's same-sex marriage prohibition unconstitutional. In response, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore went on a memoranda rampage, first opining that Granade had no authority to override Alabama state law.

In a second memo issued earlier this week, Moore flat-out ordered state probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Some judges complied with Granade's order, but many more complied with Moore's by refusing to issue any marriage licenses to anyone at all, under the guise of awaiting further guidance.

Ala. Federal Judge Mark Fuller Arrested for Alleged Battery

Judges can behave badly, too -- sometimes, very badly.

Earlier this month, police arrested Judge Mark Fuller of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. Fuller had allegedly beaten his wife, who called 911 from a hotel. Fuller, however said his wife was the one who became violent when she accused him of cheating on her with a law clerk, reported the Montgomery Advertiser.

Last week, Fuller got some more bad news: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in, sending Fuller a judicial misconduct complaint it had received and asking him to respond, according to The Associated Press. The Eleventh Circuit also reassigned Fuller's outstanding cases and ordered that he not receive new cases.

Judge Julie Carnes Confirmed to Eleventh Circuit

On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Julie Carnes to a position on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta.

Judge Carnes graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law. She clerked for Judge Lewis R. Morgan of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, then served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia from 1978 to 1990. She also served as Commissioner of the U.S. Sentencing Commission from 1990 to 1996.

11th Circuit Gets Starring Role in Private Conflicts Audit

This is not a distinction worth bragging about.

The Center for Public Integrity recently reviewed three years' worth of judicial financial disclosures to determine how often, if ever, judges heard cases despite a conflict of interest. While some might argue that any conflicts are too many conflicts, the results weren't completely damning of our federal appeals court system: 26 missed conflicts over three years, out of how many cases? Tens of thousands?

Still, the Eleventh Circuit in particular had a rough time, with a nation-leading seven missed conflicts, four from Judge James Hill alone, plus one shining example of how a judge should deal with such a mistake.

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U.S. District Court for Southern Fla. Seeks Pro Bono Panelists

Got some spare time on your hands? Or perhaps, do you have some fresh associates that could use some "real world" practice beyond what they get from reviewing your work?

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida is seeking a few good men and women to represent the indigent. And though the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) has been shuttered, that doesn't mean the court has given up.

On the contrary, Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno just sent out a memo [PDF] describing the new Pro Bono Panel project, urging members of the local legal community to get involved.

11th Cir. Is Super Busy, Super Quick: Judiciary Report

The Eleventh Circuit is one of the busiest and quickest federal appeals courts in the nation, according to a recently released "Judicial Caseload Profile" of the court released by the judiciary.

The report presents statistics on the work of the Federal Judiciary for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, comparing data for this year to data for prior years.