courts

Saying that several arms of the U.S. Department of Justice have been monitoring the inquiry into the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "the Justice Department will proceed with a federal civil rights investigation of Mr. Garner's death."

Holder promised an "independent, thorough, fair and expeditious investigation."

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

"It's a very painful day for so many New Yorkers," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe," as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

The U.S. Supreme Court is tackling a question of increasing importance in the age of social media and the Internet: What constitutes a threat on Facebook?

Anthony Elonis was convicted of making threats against his estranged wife, and an FBI agent. After his wife left him, taking the couple's two children with her, Elonis began posting about her on his Facebook page.

There's one way to love ya, but a thousand ways to kill ya,

And I'm not going to rest until your body is a mess,

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted Wednesday to clear a blocked right coronary artery, but she was expected to be back on the bench when the court reconvenes on Monday.

Exactly what would happen to the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court invalidates tax credits in three dozen states where the federal government runs the program?

Legal scholars say a decision like that would deal a potentially lethal blow to the law because it would undermine the government-run insurance marketplaces that are its backbone, as well as the mandate requiring most Americans to carry coverage.

Update at 9:00 a.m.

Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, told a grand jury in September that the 18-year-old hit him in the face with a fist following an exchange between them on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.

The grand jury on Monday declined to charge Wilson, who is white, in the killing of Brown, who was black.

This post was last updated at 12:03 a.m. ET.

A grand jury did not indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for any crimes related to the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.

Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed and black, in an Aug. 9 incident that has stoked anger and debate in Ferguson and beyond.

Sean Phillips / U.S. Navy

Investigators say a man involved in a shooting at a gate outside the Navy's submarine base in Connecticut lunged at one police officer with a knife and then stabbed another in the thigh before an officer opened fire.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge today gave the OK to a bankruptcy exit strategy proposed by Detroit nearly 16 months after the city asked for protection from its creditors.

At a 1 p.m. ET hearing, Judge Steven Rhodes found that the plan was fair and feasible. He's expected to issue a written ruling later.

"This city is insolvent and desperately needs to fix its future," Rhodes said.

Updated: 12:22 a.m. ET Friday:

Because of a lack of evidence, prosecutors in New Zealand have dropped a murder-for-hire charge against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. The Associated Press reports the 60-year-old Rudd had been charged Thursday with trying to arrange two killings. He's still facing charges of threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

Original Post:

Authorities in New Zealand have charged Phil Rudd, the drummer for the legendary hard rock band AC/DC, with trying to have two men killed.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday for a second time in a case that combines Middle East policy with the dueling foreign policy roles of the president and Congress. It's a political hot potato that asks what U.S. passports should say about the birthplace of American citizens born in Jerusalem.

Four private security guards working for the Blackwater Worldwide firm who were charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis have been found guilty by a federal jury.

Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, and three others — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter.

A judge in Boston says that some 1,000 pre-trial jurors may be asked to complete a questionnaire for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in January.

The Boston Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. made the announcement at a status conference on Monday.

The Herald adds:

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State prosecutors have filed a brief to the Connecticut's highest court, asking it to affirm a trial court's convictions of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. 

Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

A New Haven developer has been convicted of hiring someone to set fires in the city in 2008 and 2009. 

A former East Haven official said the town should not pay for the defense of Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. accused of sexual harassment by a former Town Hall secretary. 

Technically, the Supreme Court Monday did not establish a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. It merely declined an opportunity to rule definitely one way or the other on the question.

But in the not-too-long run, the consequences may well be the same. Because the situation the court created — or acknowledged — will almost surely continue trending in favor of same-sex couples who want to marry.

Conversely, the legal ground is eroding for states that want to stop such marriages or deny them legal recognition.

On Monday, the Supreme Court surprised many when it refused to enter the contentious debate over gay marriage.

The court left intact decisions by three federal appeals courts that had struck down bans on gay marriage in parts of the South, West and Midwest. Attorneys general in five states asked the court to review those decisions and overrule them. But the court instead stepped back, leaving the lower court rulings intact.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state Department of Children and Families is refuting a judge's criticism that it did not turn over documents in a timely manner for a recent child abuse trial. 

Wynn Resorts Holdings, LLC

Three men who own land in Everett, Massachusetts that is planned for a Wynn Resorts casino have been indicted on state and federal charges of fraud and corruption, according to reports. 

The Archdiocese of Hartford is hoping to stem the tide of lawsuits against priests accused of child sexual abuse.

Photo by Jeff Cohen

After less than a full day of deliberation, a federal jury squarely laid the blame on former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland for two attempted conspiracies involving concealment of payments to him in connection with election work for congressional candidates.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal conspiracy trial. The announcement was made shortly after 2:30 pm on Friday.

Federal prosecutors charged Rowland earlier this year in a seven-count indictment because of what they described as “his efforts to conceal the extent of his involvement in two federal election campaigns.”

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of the main questions for the jury in the case of former Governor John Rowland is this: was his consulting contract with a nursing home business the real deal, or was it a “pretext” designed to funnel him money for work on a 2012 congressional campaign?

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The prosecution has rested its case in the federal campaign corruption trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has sided with a state agency regulating wind energy, rejecting a challenge by opponents of a wind power project.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Creative Commons

Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.

Lawyers in the case say the four passengers reached agreements with Metro-North on Friday and are the first plaintiffs in the lawsuit to settle. Terms weren't disclosed. Metro-North previously settled with several others injured in the crash who didn't go to court.

Connecticut's Supreme Court has decided to take up three cases that could decide how the state handles the convictions of children who commit murder and other violent crimes.

Pages