courts

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Friday's Supreme Court decision affirming a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage has been met with praise in Connecticut.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy applauded today's Supreme Court decision upholding the part of the Affordable Care Act that allows the government to subsidize health care for the poor and middle class. 

Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev broke his silence Wednesday and apologized to the victims and the survivors of the deadly 2013 attack.

"I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, and the damage that I've done," he said Wednesday during his sentencing hearing.

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Vietnam-era veterans who have dealt with the consequences of getting a less than honorable discharge could now receive certain benefits.

The change comes after recent decisions by military boards under the Pentagon. 

Chris Campbell / Creative Commons

A landmark state education funding trial that was delayed in January is scheduled to take place later this year.

Adam Frenier / NEPR

Listing case after case of repeat offenders returned to the city’s streets on bails as low as $1,000, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno renewed his call to reform how bail is set in Massachusetts, especially for repeat violent offenders. Some people, Sarno said, need to remain in jail, not make bail.

Major decisions are expected this month, as the U.S. Supreme Court works its way through several cases still pending before it closes out its calendar for the 2014-2015 term.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Connecticut's second-highest court has ruled that a transgender teenager's due process rights were violated when the state's child welfare agency sought her transfer to a prison last year.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a law that allowed Americans who were born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on their passports.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court said that the law, passed by Congress in 2002, interferes with the president's constitutional right to recognize foreign nations. The U.S. State Department has a long-standing policy not to recognize any nation's authority over Jerusalem until Israelis and Palestinians resolve its status.

The case is seen as an important separation-of-powers ruling.

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the market price of U.S. dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.

Yusuf Syed

Adnan Syed, who was convicted for murder in 2000, and whose case was the subject of the podcast Serial, was granted a post-conviction hearing in a court order released Monday.

On WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, attorney Rabia Chaudry spoke about the development, which came sooner than Syed's legal team expected.

Updated at 3:42 p.m.

After listening to testimony from 63 witnesses and deliberating since Wednesday, a jury of seven women and five men in Boston gave convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death penalty.

There was no visible reaction from either Tsarnaev or his legal team.

The jury sentenced Tsarnaev to die on counts 4, 5, 9, 10, 14 and 15. Here is more detail about those counts:

A jury in Boston deliberated for about 50 minutes on Wednesday as jurors tried to decide whether Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should spend the rest of his life in prison or face the death penalty.

NPR member station WBUR reports they deliberated after hearing closing arguments from the prosecution and Tsarnaev's defense lawyer.

Per WBUR's David Boeri, the prosecution argued:

A jury in Boston will hear final arguments in the sentencing of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

After hearing from the defense and prosecution, the jury will decide whether Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

The twin bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 200.

The New York Times reports:

Nicole P. Eramo, an associate dean of students at the University of Virginia who handles reports of sexual assault for the school, is suing Rolling Stone magazine over the way she was depicted in a now discredited story.

Eramo has filed suit against Rolling Stone LLC, parent company Wenner Media LLC, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article called "A Rape on Campus," which painted a harrowing picture of a rape and its coverup at U.Va. The complaint was filed in the Charlottesville, Va., circuit court. Eramo is seeking a total of $7.85 million.

Lisa Jacobs / Creative Commons

A Connecticut legislative committee has approved a legal settlement that would end a long-running federal court battle over former Governor John Rowland's decision to lay off 2,800 unionized state employees about 12 years ago. 

scyther5/iStock / Thinkstock

A major insurer in the state has agreed to spend $11.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought against it by physicians organizations, including the Connecticut State Medical Society. 

NTSB

Metro-North is dealing with more than 30 personal injury lawsuits stemming from a train derailment and collision in Bridgeport two years ago, and more are expected in the next week.

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The Connecticut Department of Social Services official responsible for overseeing state fraud and waste investigations is facing a federal wire fraud charge, stemming from false information he allegedly submitted for a personal mortgage modification. 

It's been a tough week for New Jersey Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie.

One of his former allies pleaded guilty and two others were indicted for allegedly creating a traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge as political retribution.

Now, New Jersey's highest court is set to hear arguments over one of Christie's signature accomplishments: his pension reform deal.

Updated at 4:34 p.m.

David Wildstein, a former official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of conspiracy in connection with lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in 2013. The case could have implications for his former friend New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate.

Indictments in April against two other officials linked to the scandal were unsealed today.

Former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General that accused him of spending taxpayer money for personal travel and purchases.

      Dobelle has agreed to pay the state $185,000.  He would also withdraw a lawsuit he filed against the university claiming breach of contract and demanding payment of his legal bills. 

        In the settlement, which is still subject to approval by a state judge, Dobelle would admit no wrongdoing.  

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

Testimony concluded on Thursday in Middletown Superior Court where members of an all-male fraternity are challenging Wesleyan University's new policy requiring fraternities to become co-ed.

State of Connecticut

State lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to reconfirm Chase Rogers as chief justice of the Connecticut State Supreme Court. 

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "unrepentant and unchanged."

That's what a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday as they weighed whether the 21-year-old convicted in the bombings that killed three people and left 264 others wounded should get the death penalty.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports that the prosecution presented jurors with four large portraits of the victims and one photo of Tsarnaev giving the middle finger to a security camera in his jail cell.

Aaron Hernandez, whose rise to elite status in the NFL was ended by charges that he shot and killed a man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. In 2013, Hernandez was accused of killing the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.

The verdict comes on the seventh day of a jury's deliberations on counts that ranged from murder to gun and ammunition charges. As the findings were read in a Fall River, Mass., courtroom, Hernandez sat between his lawyers and occasionally shook his head.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state court judge ruled Tuesday that Hartford's city council does not have the authority to remove its registrars of voters, and the decision comes on the same day that the city council was set to begin its proceedings. 

Tucker Ives / WNPR

A mentally disabled man who has served 23 years in prison for a 1987 murder is out on bail following a court order for a new trial.

A Hartford Superior Court judge on Friday set bond at $250,000 for 69-year-old Richard Lapointe, which was posted. His lawyers said their client will be staying with a couple in East Hartford as prosecutors decide whether to re-try him.

A Connecticut man whose young son died after he left him inside a car on a hot day last summer has been spared prison time.

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