courts

Corruption
3:37 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Found Guilty In Corruption Trial

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 4:48 pm

Updated at 3:38 p.m. ET

A federal jury in Richmond, Va., has found former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell guilty on 11 of 14 charges in his corruption trial. His wife, Maureen, was found guilty on nine of 14 charges, including obstruction of justice.

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Conspiracy Trial
8:16 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Trial Unfolds in New Haven for Former Connecticut Governor Rowland

Former Gov. John G. Rowland leaves federal court with his family and legal team
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The federal corruption trial of convicted felon and former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland began in earnest Wednesday in New Haven.

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Conspiracy Trial
4:11 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Rowland Trial Gets Underway; May Hinge on Cryptic Email

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Governor John G. Rowland's federal conspiracy trial gets underway in New Haven on Wednesday. He's facing charges of violating federal campaign laws by allegedly hiding his role as a campaign consultant in a 2012 congressional race.

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Cities
3:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Detroit Bankruptcy Battle Begins In Federal Court

The murals by Diego Rivera and other works at the Detroit Institute of Arts would be safe from creditors under the plan before a bankruptcy judge Tuesday.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:04 am

Detroit's historic bankruptcy case is entering the home stretch. The crucial, final trial phase begins Tuesday in a Detroit courtroom.

The trial will decide the fate of a plan to wipe out billions of dollars in debt and help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy as a new, revitalized city.

This trial is a big deal, but don't expect anything with lots of courtroom drama. For one thing, it's federal bankruptcy court — and there's no jury.

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Texas
8:33 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked on August 19 in Austin. Perry is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:33 pm

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

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Governing
7:48 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney with the Lakota People's Law Project, is calling for a turnaround of child welfare and foster care systems.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit in South Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

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Polygamy
9:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Part Of Utah's Polygamy Ban

Kody Brown poses with his wives (from left) Janelle, Christine, Meri and Robyn in a promotional photo for TLC's reality TV show Sister Wives.
Bryant Livingston AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:03 am

A federal judge on Wednesday finalized a ruling that strikes down part of Utah's ban on polygamy.

The case is high profile partly because the suit was brought forth by the Brown family, the stars of the TLC show Sister Wives. It's also important because as it works its way through the appeals process, it has the potential to become a landmark.

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Fraud
10:53 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Bank Of America Reaches Record Settlement Over Mortgage Meltdown

Countrywide, acquired by the Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, accounts for most of the allegations of wrongdoing against BofA.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:33 pm

Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $17 billion in a settlement with federal regulators over allegations that it misled investors into buying risky, mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown.

The Department of Justice, which announced the $16.65 billion deal today, describes it as "the largest civil settlement with a single entity in history."

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Texas
6:23 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Gov. Perry Gets Booked At Texas Courthouse After Indictment

Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrives at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:03 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry went to a courthouse to be booked after being indicted by an Austin grand jury on Friday for alleged abuse of power.

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Alternatives to Incarceration
8:35 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Instead of Jail, Judges Take More Hands-On Role With Addicts in Connecticut

Support Court participant Rosa, left, with U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant.
Connecticut U.S. District Court

Support courts for defendants with substance abuse issues have existed for over two decades in many states, including Connecticut. They give people an opportunity to seek treatment to avoid the cycle of repeated incarceration. In recent years, federal courts have begun similar programs. 

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Wrongful Conviction
4:27 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 21 Years Seeks Damages From Connecticut

Kenneth Ireland spent 21 years imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

Kenneth Ireland was released in 2009 after DNA tests exonerated him for a crime he didn't commit. Now the state of Connecticut is holding hearings about how much to compensate him.

When police questioned 17-year-old Kenneth Ireland for the rape and murder of a Wallingford woman in 1986, he thought it all would pass. "I figured they would figure this out and that it would just go away," he said. "I just went on with my life. I joined the National Guard to get the grant for college. I had gotten a decent job for my age. I was heading down this path where I was constructing a life."

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Equitable Opportunity
9:54 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Landmark State Education Lawsuit Delayed

Credit State Education Resource Center

The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding has agreed to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. 

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Affordable Care Act
10:59 am
Tue July 22, 2014

U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:03 pm

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dealt a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act, when it threw out an IRS regulation that governs subsidies. But before the ink dried on that decision, another three-judge panel hearing a similar case issued a decision that was completely opposite.

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Boston Bombing
2:24 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:30 pm

Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who police say impeded their investigation of the 2013 attack, has been convicted on some of the charges against him and found not guilty of others.

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Sexual Assault
2:39 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

UConn Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Attorney Gloria Allred, at center, with UConn graduate Kylie Angell at the podium, and other plaintiffs in the sexual assault federal lawsuit against UConn.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

The University of Connecticut has settled a federal lawsuit filed by five women who claimed the school responded to their sexual assault complaints with indifference. 

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California
6:52 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional In California

California's death row at San Quentin State Prison is crowded, but the execution chamber has been idle since 2006
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:22 pm

A federal judge has ruled that California's use of the death penalty is dysfunctional and violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney's ruling came in response to an appeal by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to death in Los Angeles in 1995 for the rape and killing of his girlfriend's mother three years earlier.

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Courts
2:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UK Man Sentenced for Taliban Support

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

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Courts
10:43 am
Mon July 14, 2014

British Citizens Imprisoned in Connecticut for Supporting Terrorism to Be Sentenced Soon

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

Two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism are to be sentenced in federal court in New Haven this week.

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Overtime Pay
2:59 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Berlin Limousine Firm Ordered to Pay $500,000 in Back Wages

Credit Anja Peternelj/iStock / Thinkstock

A Berlin limousine firm has been ordered to pay its drivers half a million dollars in back wages and damages, after it failed to pay overtime for several years.

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Crime and Punishment
9:21 am
Wed July 9, 2014

New London CEO Guilty of Violating Clean Water Act

Credit Flickr Creative Commons / manoftaste.de

The former CEO of a New London company has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. According to federal prosecutors, the infractions date back to 1986 and involve toxic discharges into the city's sewer system.

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Courts
2:36 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Judge Rejects Rowland's Request to Dismiss Charges

Credit Kuzma/iStock / Thinkstock

A judge has denied a request by former Gov. John G. Rowland to dismiss federal charges that accused him of trying to create secret consultant roles with two congressional campaigns. 

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Supreme Court Ruling
4:42 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Sorting Through the Hobby Lobby Decision

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In a five-to-four decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that requiring so-called closely-held, for-profit corporations to pay for contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, violates a federal law that protects religious freedom. 

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Unionization
10:53 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Connecticut Studies Supreme Court Decision on Home Health Aides

Supreme Court
Getty Images

Governor Dannel Malloy’s office will study the implications of a Supreme Court ruling that weakens the power of unions to organize home health care workers.

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Media Consumption
10:35 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Aereo's TV Streaming Service Is Illegal, Supreme Court Says

Aereo.com, a Web service that provides television shows online, is shown on an iPhone on April 22. The company lost a Supreme Court case Wednesday, as the justices ruled it violates copyright law.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:18 pm

Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, violates U.S. copyright law, the Supreme Court has ruled. The court's 6-3 decision reverses a lower court ruling on what has been a hotly contested issue.

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Courts
9:33 am
Thu June 19, 2014

British Terror Suspects Imprisoned in Connecticut to Be Sentenced in July

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

Federal prosecutors filed court papers this week in advance of the July sentencing of two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism.

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Courts
6:51 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

SunTrust To Pay Nearly $1 Billion For Mortgage Practices

SunTrust has agreed to pay $968 million as part of a settlement with the government over charges that it failed to comply with standards required for federally backed mortgages.

The settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Justice Department and other agencies includes money for homeowners and a requirement that the company improve its procedures for mortgage loans and foreclosures.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Law
6:17 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Gun 'Straw Purchases'

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:59 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory to gun control advocates on Monday. The 5-4 ruling allows strict enforcement of the federal ban on gun "straw purchases," or one person buying a gun for another.

The federal law on background checks requires federally licensed gun dealers to verify the identity of buyers and submit their names to a federal database to weed out felons, those with a history of mental illness and others barred from gun ownership.

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Racial Profiling
8:39 am
Tue June 10, 2014

East Haven Reaches Civil Rights Suit Settlement

Michael Wishnie, at far right, speaks in the basement of St. Rose of Lima Church in Fair Haven. Father James Manship is at far left, and Marcia Chacon near left.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

The town of East Haven, Connecticut has agreed to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit involving its police department. The suit alleged police misconduct against Latinos.

For years, Latinos in East Haven complained of systematic abuse and harassment at the hands of the town’s police force.

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Judicial Appointments
12:29 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Controversial Judge Withdraws Reappointment Request

Credit Kuzma/iStock / Thinkstock

A superior court judge whose bid for reappointment had sparked controversy has withdrawn her name from consideration, according to The Hartford Courant.

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