BP Liability: BP's bill is steadily increasing but could swell even larger if the U.S. Justice Department files criminal charges against the company for its role in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, The New York Times reports. The daily civil fine for the escaping oil alone could be $280 million. Even misdemeanor convictions under environmental laws could generate substantial fines. BP has pledged to put $20 billion into an escrow account. BP CEO Tony Hayward is expected to testify on Capitol Hill this morning, telling Congress how "deeply sorry" he is for the spill.
Where's the Evidence? Chief Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco federal district court closely questioned Charles Cooper, the attorney defending a federal challenge to Proposition 8, during closing argument, The Recorder reports. Cooper's counterpart, Theodore Olson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, was able to deliver his closing with less interruption.
Campaign Intensifies: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is stepping up its campaign to derail the nomination of John "Jack" McConnell Jr.'s for a federal judgeship in the District of Rhode Island, The National Law Journal reports. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination today.
Professor Charged: Amy Bishop, the University of Alabama biology professor accused of killing three colleagues this year, was indicted Wednesday in the death of her brother in 1986 at their home outside Boston, The New York Times reports. Authorities ruled the death accidental at the time but reopened the investigation after Bishop was charged in February with shooting three colleagues and wounding three others. Click here for The Boston Globe write-up on the case.
Ready, Aim, Fire: The firing squad in Utah is back. The execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, for killing a lawyer in an escape attempt, is set for Friday morning.