law

Massachusetts is joining a national movement to reexamine get-tough-on-crime policies.

Massachusetts state leaders earlier this month committed to a comprehensive review of the state’s criminal justice policies with a goal to reduce the cost of incarceration and improve public safety by reducing recidivism. 

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Last week, the state Supreme Court issued its ruling on capital punishment and completely repealed it - including for those already on death row. This hour on our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse we talk about the decision and answer your questions about how the state’s judicial system works with guests who will hopefully have answers.

Yale University / Creative Commons

A national fraternity at Yale University is headed to trial in the case of a 2011 crash that killed a woman and injured two others.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

From a 12-year-old girl to a 73-year-old farmer, Connecticut has executed about 160 people over the nearly 400-year history of the death penalty. Two state justices invoked that history while writing in support of the court's decision to overturn capital punishment. 

Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

Connecticut's Supreme Court has ruled the state's death penalty is unconstitutional. WNPR spoke to the public defender who represented one of the state's best known death row inmates.

John Phelan / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of a full repeal of the state's death penalty on Thursday.

The decision comes more than three years after a repeal of the death penalty for crimes committed after the law was enacted. It means that eleven people currently on death row in the state will be spared execution.

How Police in Connecticut Identify Body Parts

Aug 10, 2015
CIMMYT/Flickr Creative Commons

If you've ever wondered how the police identify found body parts, an ongoing investigation in New Haven provides a case study.

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that better protects underage victims of sex trafficking, while giving police more tools to identify and prosecute traffickers.

A Glimpse Into The Dark Side of Technology

Jul 27, 2015
elhombredenegro/flickr creative commons

We all depend on technology and its vast, positive potential on everything from poverty to medicine, but there’s a flip side. As we gear up for the Internet of Things, with greater connections come greater risks. 

YouTube

A Connecticut man who videotaped a homemade "drone" flying and firing a handgun in Clinton is now the subject of an FAA investigation.

The 14-second video shows a small hovering flying machine. It's black with four spinning propellers and there's a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top. As it hovers, it fires four shots into a wooded area before the video cuts out.

TexasGOPVote.com / Creative Commons

Though it often seems like a distant institution, the U.S. Supreme Court affects our lives more than you might think. 

 

This hour -- from its recent rulings on health care and same-sex marriage, to its role in the upcoming presidential election -- we take an intimate look inside the world of the nation's top court. 

Lori Mack / WNPR

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in Connecticut on Tuesday as part of a national community policing tour.

Wasted Time R / Creative Commons

Quinnipiac University has filed a lawsuit against the town of Hamden in a zoning violation dispute. The move follows a zoning board decision to deny the university’s appeal of a recent finding that the school violated a zoning deal for its York Hill dormitory project.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

Advocates for the poor have argued that the state takes too long to process food stamp applications, and that people should have a right to sue. State attorneys have pushed back. But last week, a federal appellate court ruled that applicants can in fact file a class action against the state. 

Josh Michtom / Creative Commons

Police say the body of a seven-month-old boy who has been missing since his father jumped into the Connecticut River with him two days ago has been found.

Lionel Allorge

A federal appeals court says people applying for food stamps in Connecticut have the right to sue the state over delays in processing their applications.

CT Senate Democrats / Flickr

The Connecticut General Assembly returned to Hartford for a special session Monday, and while the state Senate spent the afternoon deliberating the two budget bills, the House of Representatives took up the "excessive force bill."

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Daily Joe / Creative Commons

The EPA has issued new guidelines for underground gasoline tanks, changes the agency hopes will beef up safety standards for containers underneath gas stations and convenience stores in Connecticut.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

Chris Campbell / Creative Commons

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

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Ralph Nader has appointed a trial lawyer as director of the planned American Museum of Tort Law set to open in the activist and consumer advocate's home town of Winsted, Connecticut.

Nader said Tuesday that Richard L. Newman will oversee the museum, which is intended to broaden public understanding of civil law and issues such as health and consumer protections.

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.

It was an ugly scene. A fight broke out at a pool party in a McKinney, Texas, subdivision on Friday, allegedly after a white resident told a group of black teenagers to "go back to their Section 8 housing." Local cops show up in force. At some point, a bystander pulls out his cellphone and begins videotaping.

Diana Robinson / Creative Commons

Lots of awards were handed out in New York this weekend. The annual Tony Awards were given to the best Broadway productions of the year. But no amount of theatrical showmanship could top what happened in the Belmont Stakes.

American Pharoah completed horseracing's elusive Triple Crown.  Finishing a few lengths behind him in third place was Keen Ice, who is part-owned by two Connecticut residents. This hour, we speak with one of the local owners.

Keith Allison / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers have voted to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling -- which had been criticized by the media -- that said police are only obligated to release basic information about arrests to the public while prosecutions are pending.

Helder Mira / Creative Commons

The end of the legislative session is drawing near, which means it’s time for Where We Live to check in with some of our state lawmakers. 

(This post was last updated at 11:09 p.m. ET.)

It was a dramatic day on the floor of the United States Senate on Sunday. Unable to overcome parliamentary maneuvers by Sen. Rand Paul, the body adjourned and let three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act expire at midnight.

Trying to beat a midnight deadline during a rare Sunday session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to fast track a House bill that would overhaul the government's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

The state senate has passed a workers compensation bill that towns and cities say would impose new "mega mandates" on them. 

The Safety of Rail Travel Across the Northeast

May 18, 2015
Mark Llanuza / f

Train ridership is higher in the northeast than anywhere else in the U.S. Last year on Amtrak alone, nearly 12 million people rode the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

Despite so much riding on the reliability of trains, government and industries responsible for maintaining the rail system have been slow to make crucial safety improvements.

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