courts

Jail Sentences
1:39 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Mo. Man Whose Prison Term Was Delayed By Clerical Error Is Free Again

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson walks out of the Missouri County Courthouse along with his wife, LaQonna Anderson, their daughter Nevaeh, 3, and his attorney Patrick Megaro on Monday in Charleston, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:58 pm

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson is a free man once again.

Back in 2000, the Missouri resident was sentenced to 13 years in prison for holding up a man with a gun. Anderson was 23 at the time and was told to await orders on when to show up to prison.

Thirteen years went by and he never received notice. According to the AP, in the meantime, Anderson started a construction business, got married, had children and volunteered at his church near St. Louis.

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WAMC News
9:23 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Massachusetts' Highest Court To Hear Casino Referendum Case

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 10:41 am

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Monday on whether a question to repeal casino gambling should appear on the November election ballot.

The decision by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office to ban the question from the ballot is being challenged in the state’s highest court by anti-casino activists led by John Ribiero, chairman of the group Repeal the Casino Deal.

" There is no reason for us to be kept off the ballot."

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Veterans
8:27 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Lawsuit Filed Against VA On Behalf of Military Sexual Trauma Survivors

Kuzma/iStock Thinkstock

Veterans' advocacy groups are suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, alleging the VA discriminates against veterans who file PTSD disability claims based on being raped, assaulted, or sexually harassed while in the military.

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SCOTUS Preview
7:14 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Weighing The Risks Of Warrantless Phone Searches During Arrests

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in two cases over whether law enforcement can search cellphones obtained at an arrest without a warrant.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 1:10 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in two cases testing whether police can search cellphones without a warrant at the time of an arrest, be it for a traffic violation or for a felony.

The Supreme Court has interpreted the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches to require that police obtain a search warrant from a neutral judge upon a showing that there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The warrant is to specify where the search will be conducted and the evidence being sought.

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Courts
3:37 am
Mon April 28, 2014

How A Public Corruption Scandal Became A Fight Over Free Speech

Monday the Supreme Court hears the case concerning what kind of speech is protected for public employees.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 1:31 pm

The current conservative Supreme Court majority has a well-earned reputation for protecting the First Amendment right to free speech, whether in the form of campaign spending or protests at military funerals.

But in one area — the First Amendment rights of public employees — the conservative majority has been far less protective of the right to speak out. Now the court is revisiting the issue, and the result could have far-reaching consequences for public corruption investigations.

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Transgender Teen
3:23 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

DCF Commissioner Defends Transfer of Transgender Juvenile to York Prison

Joette Katz during an earlier visit to WNPR.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families is defending her agency's rare transfer of a 16-year-old transgender girl to Connecticut’s women’s prison. Joette Katz said the state had run out of options for the troubled youth.

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Courts
1:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says

Blue and yellow are the colors for tributes to victims of the Boston Marathon. Street lights on the route of this year's race are among the places they're showing up.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:24 pm

A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the explosions near the finish line of last year's race.

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Courts
12:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Ohio Ordered To Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

Nicole Yorksmith (left) holds her son while standing with her partner, Pam Yorksmith. They were among four legally married couples who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking to compel Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:12 pm

The state of Ohio was told by a federal judge Monday that it must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, Ohio Public Radio and TV's Jo Ingles reports.

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Connecticut First
5:54 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rowland in Federal Court; GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off

Former Connecticut governor John Rowland has pleaded not guilty to federal charges. For the second time in a decade Rowland is facing political corruption charges. Just a week ago Rowland resigned from his radio talk show and late yesterday was indicted on seven counts by a federal grand jury in New Haven.

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Former Governor
4:04 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rowland Pleads Not Guilty; Lawyer "Eager to Go to Trial"

Reporters scrum at the federal courthouse in New Haven on Friday.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Former Governor John G. Rowland has pleaded not guilty to charges that he broke election laws to pursue roles with two congressional campaigns. A federal judge in New Haven heard the plea Friday and said jury selection is scheduled to begin on June 10.

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Courts
1:31 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Former Bridgeport Mayor Denied Law License

Former Bridgeport mayor Joseph Ganim.
Credit joeganim.com

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a decision denying a law license for former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, who was convicted of corruption. 

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Campaign Finance
11:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

People wait in line for the beginning of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term in Washington on Oct. 7. The court heard the first major case on campaign contribution limits since 2010's landmark Citizens United.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:34 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an overall cap on the amount that large campaign donors can give to parties and candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In a 5-4 decision split between conservatives and liberals on the high court, the court said the limits were a violation of the First Amendment.

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Suing the State
5:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Charla Nash Wants Her Day in Court

Charla and Briana Nash
Credit Shelly Sindland Photography

Charla Charla Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009, while helping her employer, Sandra Herold, get her pet, Travis, back in his cage.

Nash says she was unaware of the danger that lurked.

She doesn't remember anything about the attack, just waking up in the hospital. Travis broke most of the bones in her face, he ripped off her lips, nose, eyelids, and her hands, leaving Nash in a coma for four months. Today, she's blind and lives in a rehabilitation facility at a cost $16,000 per month, an expense she'll have for the rest of her life.

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Horses Are Pretty, But Vicious?
12:23 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Horses Can Bite; Connecticut Justices Send "Scuppy" Case Back to Lower Court

Credit Courtesy of Flickr CC by Doug Wheller

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that owners of horses or other domestic animals must prevent the animal from causing injuries, siding with a family whose child was bitten by a horse. The court on Wednesday upheld an Appellate Court ruling that said a horse belongs to "a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious."

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Family Court
9:56 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Are There Better Ways of Handling Child Custody Cases in Connecticut?

Dr. Elizabeth Thayer said the system needs to change but advocates shouldn't just criticize the GALs.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

There's growing tension in Connecticut between parents and guardian ad litem lawyers or GALs, who are appointed to represent minor children in child custody cases.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Look Inside Connecticut's Family Court System

Credit AndreyPopov/iStock / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, The Connecticut Law Tribune reported that a number of the state’s guardian ad litem lawyers had withdrawn from their child custody cases. Their actions came in response to growing tension within the family courts, where parents and advocates have criticized the system -- and the lawyers in it -- for high fees and lack of oversight.

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Suing Connecticut
2:56 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Charla Nash Seeks $150 Million in Damages From State

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

As a matter of law, citizens can't sue the state, in order to protect taxpayer money. That's why there is a Claims Commissioner -- a government appointee tasked with deciding when it's "just and equitable" to waive state immunity.

Last June, the Commissioner decided immunity shouldn't be waived for Charla Nash, who is seeking $150 million in state damages.

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Tribal Land Claims
11:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Effects of Potential Connecticut Tribal Recognitions in Debate

Dancers at an event at the Pequot Museum last fall.
Credit Brandon Lavallee / Pequot Museum

Federal authorities are considering changes to tribal recognition procedures and it could have a unique impact on Connecticut. But it's unclear exactly what rights any newly recognized tribes would have.

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Connecticut First
10:31 am
Tue March 18, 2014

McDonald's Workers Protest Over Wages; Lawmakers Call for Funding to Fight Heroin Addiction

Days after class-action lawsuits claimed McDonald’s Restaurants are deliberately and systematically stealing employees’ pay, workers and community leaders protested today in Hartford and New Haven. It was part of a nationwide series of actions in 40 cities calling on the fast-food giant to stop its illegal wage theft.

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Connecticut First
5:54 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Malloy Makes Judicial Nominations; Feds Order Metro-North to Prioritize Safety

Governor Dannel Malloy nominated Eliot Prescott of West Hartford and Raheem Mullins of Cromwell to serve as judges of the Connecticut Appellate Court. Malloy also nominated 16 attorneys to become judges of the Superior Court, two to serve as Family Support Magistrates, and one to serve as a Workers’ Compensation.

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Courts
12:59 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Church Trial of Former Yale Dean is Dismissed

Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree.
Credit religionnews.com

The New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has announced that the case against the Reverend Dr. Thomas Ogletree is dismissed.

Dr. Ogletree, a Connecticut resident and former dean of Yale Divinity School was to have faced a church trial for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son.

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Courts
10:46 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Witness in New York City Terror Trial May Testify in Connecticut Sentencing

Saajid Badat.
Credit Creative Commons

A witness, expected to testify today in a terrorism trial in New York,  is also believed to be the person federal prosecutors want to testify at the sentencing later this year of two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism. 

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Immigration
4:01 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Supreme Court Refuses To Revisit Case On Anti-Immigrant Laws

Former Marine Sgt. Salvadaor Parada, right, speaks to protesters during a rally outside city hall in Farmers Branch, Texas in 2006.
Rex C. Curry AP

A long-running case with great symbolism for the immigration debate in the country has likely come to an end today: The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Dallas suburb over its stringent laws against illegal immigrants.

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Hartford's Former Mayor
9:58 am
Thu February 27, 2014

State Supreme Court Takes the Case of Eddie Perez

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, according to the court's clerk.

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Courts
3:28 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court

Not all energy producers find fault with the EPA's rules. Calpine, which helped build the Delta Energy Center in Pittsburg, Calif., says the permitting regulations aren't overly cumbersome.
JAKUB MOSUR AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:35 am

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.

The case focuses on a 3-year-old requirement that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.

EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.

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Egypt
2:38 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Egypt's Morsi Accused Of Aiding Iran's Revolutionary Guards

Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi in a soundproof barred glass cage is seen during a court appearance on Feb. 16.
Mohammed al-Law AP

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been accused of passing state secrets to Iran's Revolutionary Guard at a hearing at the jailed leader's trial in Cairo.

A prosecutor at the hearing said Morsi, who stands accused of numerous charges, was involved along with 35 others in a plot to destabilize Egypt.

The BBC reports:

"Mr Morsi's supporters say he and other senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders are the victims of politically motivated prosecutions.

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New York
9:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

N.Y. Becomes Largest Prison System To Curb Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:57 am

New York made sweeping changes this week to the way prisons use solitary confinement.

The deal, signed by a federal judge on Wednesday, was prompted by a federal lawsuit filed by critics who say thousands of inmates — some of them pregnant or mentally ill — are being held for months and even years in isolation, often for minor infractions.

Years Spent In Solitary

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Network Controversy
12:54 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Docs Claim United Healthcare Losing Medicare Members

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

United Healthcare has lost customers in its Medicare Advantage program, according to a physicians group that's locked in a court battle with the insurer. It has been the target of heavy criticism for its decision to drop 2,000 Connecticut doctors from its Medicare Advantage network. 

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Egypt
12:37 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

3 Al-Jazeera Journalists In Egypt Plead Not Guilty To Terrorist Links

Journalists hold placards as they demonstrate across the street from Egypt's embassy in central London, on Wednesday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 2:44 pm

Three journalists working for Qatar-based network Al-Jazeera English who are on trial in Egypt for their alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood have pleaded not guilty on Thursday. The trio were denied bail and their trial was adjourned until March 5.

Australian Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed, wearing white prison outfits, appeared in metal cages, according to Reuters, which says several others identified as al-Jazeera journalists are being tried in absentia.

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Military Engines
9:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Former Pratt Worker Pleads Not Guilty to Shipping Secrets to Iran

A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a test flight.
Credit U.S. Navy

A former defense worker charged with trying to ship stolen proprietary information to Iran about the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines has pleaded not guilty in Connecticut.

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