courts

East Haven Cops In Court
12:23 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

WNPR On NPR: 2 Connecticut Police Officers Accused Of Intimidating Latinos

Customers line up for lunch at Guti'z Bakery in East Haven last week.
Credit Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The town of East Haven has gotten national attention for years for its alleged treatment of Latinos.

The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has said the town's police department had a deeply-rooted practice of discrimination.  And four of the town's police officers have been arrested.  Now, this week, two of those officers are on trial in federal court in Hartford.

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Civil Rights
4:34 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Opening Statements in Trial for Two East Haven Police Officers

Connecticut jurors heard opening statements Monday in the trial of two police officers accused of multiple civil rights violations in East Haven. The cops are charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice stemming from a federal racial profiling investigation.

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Justice
5:05 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Who Pays For Indigent Defendants?

Connecticut Supreme Court.
Credit John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s Supreme Court is receiving briefs in a case that could affect how the state pays for indigent defendants.

Dr. Lishan Wang is accused of the 2010 murder of a former colleague, Dr. Vanjinder Toor in Branford. Wang was briefly represented by the public defender’s office, but later won the right to defend himself.

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Coming Home Project
3:19 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Meeting the Legal Needs of Veterans

Margaret Middleton is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Homeless veterans have told the VA  that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven is one organization that fills this need.  Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.

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Education Funding
8:56 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Education Funding in Connecticut

Chion Wolf WNPR

A Hartford judge will hear arguments this morning in a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools.

The state attorney general’s office wants the judge to dismiss the case, which was brought in 2005 by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.

CCJEF is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates who say the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.

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8:38 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Theft Charges Reverberate in Connecticut Art World

Lead in text: 
The art world in northwestern Connecticut was rocked last week when a longtime assistant to artist Jasper Johns was arrested for stealing 22 works from Johns and selling them for $6.5 million. The NY Times reports on the case against James Meyer.
For 16 years, William Morrison has watched the passing parade at his airy, contemporary Morrison Gallery in Kent, in northwestern Connecticut, where luminaries like Meryl Streep, Sam Waterston, Kevin Bacon and Kate Winslet, and far-flung artists great and small live the understated good life of the Litchfield Hills.
The Colin McEnroe Show
10:49 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Jury Duty

pds209 on Flickr Creative Commons

The American jury system is a great leveler. Rich and powerful men such as Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, suddenly find their fates in the hands of very average Americans who earn and possess a tiny fraction of what they have. Most of the news we get about juries concerns cases in which an unusual and possibly controversial verdict was reached.

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Courts
10:17 am
Tue August 6, 2013

New Rules for Jury Duty and Pre-Trial Publicity

Credit Deborah Cheramie/iStock / Thinkstock

Exposure to pre-trial publicity is an issue when it comes to selecting jurors. The state Supreme Court has issued a new rule that will affect every trial court in Connecticut. Right after a juror is selected, he or she will have to agree to a policy that says three things: They'll decide the case only using the evidence from trial, they'll avoid all publicity about the case, and if exposed to publicity about the case, they'll tell the court. That's the new rule. And, if you ask Mark Dubois, it's a significant one.

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News
8:38 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Lead Plaintiff in Connecticut's Same-Sex Marriage Case Celebrates SCOTUS Decisions

Chion Wolf

Advocates of same-sex marriage in Connecticut are celebrating the Supreme Court ruling that strikes down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. Both banned gay marriage.

Beth Kerrigan was the lead plaintiff in the Kerrigan v. The State of Connecticut, a case that struck down a Connecticut law banning same-sex marriage,

Kerrigan says she is "overwhelmed" and "ecstatic" about the ruling.

She says with the Supreme Court ruling, her marriage to Jody Mock means a lot more now, than it did earlier this week.

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Same-Sex Marriage
8:38 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Lead Plaintiff in Connecticut's Same-Sex Marriage Case Celebrates SCOTUS Decisions

Chion Wolf

Advocates of same-sex marriage in Connecticut are celebrating the Supreme Court ruling that strikes down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. Both banned gay marriage.

Beth Kerrigan was the lead plaintiff in the Kerrigan v. The State of Connecticut, a case that struck down a Connecticut law banning same-sex marriage,

Kerrigan says she is "overwhelmed" and "ecstatic" about the ruling.

She says with the Supreme Court ruling, her marriage to Jody Mock means a lot more now, than it did earlier this week.

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Immigration
6:32 am
Thu June 27, 2013

The DOMA Decision and Immigration

Diane Orson

Yesterday’s landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will allow same-sex couples to access hundreds of federal benefits.  One of those benefits will be to allow a U.S. citizen to help a fiancé or spouse get a green card.

Russ Hanoman is a systems engineer in Stamford. His finance lives in the Netherlands..

"I always had DOMA in the back of mind as an impediment to how this was eventually going to turn out."

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Immigration
6:32 am
Thu June 27, 2013

The DOMA Decision and Immigration

Diane Orson

Yesterday’s landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will allow same-sex couples to access hundreds of federal benefits.  One of those benefits will be to allow a U.S. citizen to help a fiancé or spouse get a green card.

Russ Hanoman is a systems engineer in Stamford. His finance lives in the Netherlands..

"I always had DOMA in the back of mind as an impediment to how this was eventually going to turn out."

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Politics
3:15 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court, DOMA, and Mike Lawlor

Michael Lawlor, (r) and husband, David Zakur, outside the Stonewall Inn on Wednesday.
Credit CT Mirror (ctmirror.org)

Mike Lawlor got married over the weekend.

And while the state of Connecticut recognized his marriage to his husband, the federal government did not.  Until today.

I spoke with Lawlor as he sat on a park bench across from the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court rulings were read.  

If you can't catch the whole story, here's what you need to hear:

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Where We Live
11:32 am
Wed June 26, 2013

The Wheelhouse On Massachusetts' New Senator, SCOTUS, and New Haven Politics

Mark Fischer (Flickr Creative Commons)

Massachusetts elects a new senator, the Supreme Court makes landmark rulings, and the race for New Haven mayor gets smaller.

Today, the political news roundtable “The Wheelhouse” is back on a very busy day in the news.

We’ll start with Ed Markey making history in Massachusetts. The Democrat won a special election there yesterday to fill John Kerry’s seat. And it marks the first time in a long time that the Commonwealth hasn’t elected a big, star name like Kerry, Ted Kennedy or Elizabeth Warren. 

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News
3:25 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

State Doesn't Fear Lawsuit That Claims New Gun Laws Are Unconstitutional

The administration of Governor Dannel Malloy says a federal lawsuit challenging the state's new gun laws won't make it far in court.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. A group of gun rights advocates is suing the state over the guns laws passed in response to the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.  Among other things, the law extends the state's assault weapons ban and bans large-capacity magazines.  The plaintiffs say the law is unconstitutional and call it a "hasty response to the tragic mass shootings in Newtown." But Mike Lawlor disagrees.

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Where We Live
11:00 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Chris Donovan's Former Campaign Finance Director on Trial

Mark Pazniokas - CT Mirror

Last year’s congressional race in Connecticut’s 5th District was flipped on its head when former speaker Chris Donovan’s campaign finance director was indicted for hiding illegal campaign contributions.

The investigation into Donovan’s campaign eventually derailed the former Democratic Speaker of the House’s run. He lost the primary to Elizabeth Esty who would go on to win the general election.

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News
3:53 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Inmate, William Coleman Faces Deportation or a Longer Prison Sentence

Courtesy of State DOC

An inmate who has been on a hunger strike for more than six years was back in court Thursday. 

William Coleman, a native of Great Britain has completed an eight year sentence for spousal rape. Yet he's still in prison.

To find out more, WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Christine Stuart, editor of the CTNewsJunkie.com has covered Coleman's complicated case for years. 

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Capital Punishment
11:44 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Challenging Connecticut's Prospective Death Penalty Repeal

Diane Orson

Connecticut’s Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty repeal. The law ends capital punishment for future crimes only.

Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, but ten men who were on death row before the law passed still face execution.

Assistant Public Defender Mark Rademacher told the court that is unconstitutional.  

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News
12:44 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Connecticut Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Death Penalty Repeal

Connecticut’s Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on whether the state’s death penalty repeal violates the constitutional rights of inmates currently on death row.   The law ends capital punishment for all future crimes.

When Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, the change was “prospective”, not retroactive.  

That means capital punishment is abolished for future cases, but not for inmates already facing execution.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:43 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

The Nose: Troubles With 'Today'

Flickr Creative Commons, nan palmero

This week two parallels drama unfolded before the eyes of the nation.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:43 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

The Nose: Troubles With 'Today'

Flickr Creative Commons, nan palmero

This week two parallels drama unfolded before the eyes of the nation.

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Eddie Perez Appeals
4:49 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez Appeals His Conviction

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez was back in court today, appealing his 2010 convictions on corruption-related charges. Perez was sentenced to three years in prison but has been free while his appeal is pending. Perez was convicted for two separate incidents.

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Capital Punishment
8:58 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Trial Involving Death Row Inmates Begins

Diane Orson

A trial involving a group of Connecticut death row inmates began Wednesday. The men say the state's death penalty is racially and geographically biased.

Connecticut's death penalty was repealed earlier this year, but the law affects only future crimes. Eleven men remain on death row.

A group of them sued the state claiming discrimination in the way prosecutors seek the death penalty based on race, gender and geographic location. 

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News
5:51 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

More People Without Lawyers in Civil and Family Court

Courtesy of Flickr CC by JimmyWayne

Some needing legal help find that their only option is to represent themselves 

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Capital Punishment
7:41 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Complex Logistics For Trial With Death Penalty Inmates

A habeas corpus trial involving seven death row inmates is scheduled to take place in Connecticut in the coming weeks. The logistics of the trial have been complex.

Connecticut abolished the death penalty earlier this year, but the new law is prospective, affecting only future crimes. It leaves in place the sentences of eleven inmates currently on death row. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:33 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

When 'Hot Coffee' Spills, Should American Courts Respond?

Flickr Creative Commons, James Cridland

We're walking out on the minefield of tort reform today, and the reason we're doing it is that film-maker Susan Saladoff is in town.

Her documentary "Hot Coffee" does a great job of exploring a meme that was everywhere in the 1990s -- a woman burned herself while opening a cup of coffee between her legs while driving and had won millions in a lawsuit against McDonalds.

I can say with some small amount of pride that in my capacity as a talk show host on a mostly conservative station back in those days, I knew the facts of the case and told them to my audience.

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Capital Punishment
7:27 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Connecticut Ends The Death Penalty

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a repeal of the state’s death penalty into law. The signing ceremony took place Wednesday -  just hours after a new poll showed state voters split over an appropriate punishment for murder.

Governor Malloy signed the bill abolishing capital punishment in a private ceremony with lawmakers, clergy and family members of victims. 

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Prescription Drug Abuse
8:54 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Former TSA Official Pleads Guilty In Prescription Drug Trafficking

A former Transportation Security Administration officer pleaded guilty in federal court in New Haven Tuesday  to participating  in a prescription-drug trafficking scheme.  Several law enforcement officers have admitted their roles in the case.

30-year old Jonathan Best pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to posses with intent to distribute the painkiller oxycodone.  

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