Latest State courts News

Effort to weaken governors stirs separation-of-powers debate

Dec. 7, 2018 6:15 PM EST

MILWAUKEE (AP) — If Democrats sue to prevent Republicans from diluting the powers of newly elected governors and attorneys general in Wisconsin and Michigan, the lawsuits will probably center on one question: Are lawmakers usurping authority that belongs to the executive branch? The legal threat arose...

Court rules for officer who used stun gun on deaf boy

Dec. 7, 2018 4:49 PM EST

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut police officer who used a stun gun on a 12-year-old deaf boy at his school acted reasonably and cannot be sued by the boy's parents for excessive force because of government immunity, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New...

Top state court rejects appeal of deaf, mute defendant

Dec. 7, 2018 11:15 AM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's top court says it doesn't have jurisdiction in the appeal of a deaf and mute man who has been confined for 13 years despite never having stood trial for the 2005 slaying he is charged with. Forty-three-year-old Oswaldo Elias Martinez has been repeatedly found not competent...

Mississippi justices reject challenges over execution drug

Dec. 6, 2018 9:34 PM EST

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's state Supreme Court on Thursday denied appeals from two death row inmates over Mississippi's plans to execute them using a sedative called midazolam. In a pair of 7-2 rulings Thursday, justices found that Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. and Richard Gerald Jordan hadn't presented...

Court: Woman convicted as teen could be free after 51 years

Dec. 6, 2018 3:10 PM EST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Supreme Court is clarifying that a woman convicted of first-degree murder as a teen could be released from prison after serving at least 51 years. The court issued the opinion Thursday at the request of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering the case...

Supreme Court seems likely to keep double jeopardy exception

Dec. 6, 2018 12:46 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed likely Thursday to preserve a constitutional rule that allows state and federal governments to prosecute someone for the same crime. Several justices expressed concern about upsetting the long-standing rule that provides an exception to the Constitution's ban on...

Supreme Court takes up closely watched double jeopardy case

Dec. 5, 2018 1:21 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Constitution says you can't be tried twice for the same offense. And yet Terance Gamble is sitting in prison today because he was prosecuted separately by Alabama and the federal government for having a gun after an earlier robbery conviction. The Supreme Court is considering Gamble's...

Man says he will prove he didn't kill Michael Jordan's dad

Dec. 4, 2018 11:58 PM EST

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — For more than 25 years, the man identified as the triggerman in the death of Michael Jordan's father has repeatedly declared his innocence in the murder. Now he's going before a judge to lay out evidence he says proves that although he helped dispose of the body, he didn't kill James...

Court sides with some priests in abuse report, shields names

Dec. 3, 2018 6:23 PM EST

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Eleven Roman Catholic clergy won a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision Monday to keep their names and other information out of a grand jury report issued earlier this year into decades of sexual abuse of children by hundreds of priests. The 6-1 court majority said keeping the names...

Fraternities, sororities sue Harvard over single-sex rule

Dec. 3, 2018 5:39 PM EST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Several national fraternities and sororities sued Harvard University on Monday over a 2016 rule that discourages students from joining single-gender social clubs, marking the first legal challenge to the school's policy. Two fraternities and two sororities filed a lawsuit in...