Latest State courts News

This undated photo provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections shows Jamal Bennett. The Michigan Supreme Court has thrown out Bennet's murder conviction, saying YouTube rap videos spoiled the verdict by portraying the defendant as a

Michigan court reverses murder conviction, cites rap videos

Jan. 24, 2020 6:39 PM EST

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously threw out a murder conviction Friday, saying YouTube rap videos spoiled the verdict by portraying the defendant as a “ruthless and menacing threat to the community.” Jamal Bennett is serving a 32-year prison sentence for the fatal shooting...

Florida death penalty experts concerned about court ruling

Jan. 24, 2020 5:05 PM EST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida Supreme Court decision involving the death penalty has thrown between 100 to 150 cases into legal limbo, experts say. On Thursday, the court said it erred in 2016 when it ruled a jury must be unanimous in deciding a defendant convicted of murder should be sentenced to...

Suspect in Georgia teacher's death files 2nd pretrial appeal

Jan. 24, 2020 3:01 PM EST

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A man charged with murder is once again asking Georgia's highest court to hear an appeal before he stands trial in the slaying of a high school teacher whose 2005 disappearance remained a mystery for more than a decade. Ryan Duke's trial for the killing of teacher and beauty queen Tara...

Court: Methodist bishops must testify in sex abuse case

Jan. 24, 2020 2:21 PM EST

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Two United Methodist bishops must testify in a lawsuit filed by a one-time church member who claimed he was sexually abused, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday, turning away the church leaders' efforts to stay out of the case. The all-Republican court, in a 7-2 decision,...

Manhattan Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi talks with his attorney during sentencing at the Union County Courthouse, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in Elizabeth, N.J. Rahimi, an Afghan-born U.S. citizen already serving life in prison for a bombing Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood,  was sentenced Friday to an additional life term for a shootout with police in New Jersey as he attempted to avoid arrest in 2016. (Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media via AP, Pool)

Convicted NYC bomber gets life term for New Jersey shootout

Jan. 24, 2020 12:05 PM EST

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — An Afghan-born U.S. citizen already serving life in prison for a bombing in New York City was sentenced Friday to an additional life term for a shootout with police in New Jersey as he attempted to avoid arrest in 2016. State Superior Court Judge John Deitch sentenced Ahmad Khan...

Top Arizona court: Divorced woman can't use frozen embryos

Jan. 23, 2020 2:01 PM EST

PHOENIX (AP) — A woman can't use her frozen embryos to have a baby over opposition from her ex-husband under terms of the contract they signed with a fertility clinic, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The high court ruling ends a case that drew support from social conservative groups for the...

This is an undated Mississippi booking photo provided by Department of Corrections shows Willie Nash. . The Mississippi Supreme Court confirmed Nash's 12-year prison sentence for carrying his mobile phone into a county jail cell,  on Jan. 9, 2020. The ruling on the 2018 sentencing is being slammed by some people as a brutal example of racial injustice. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)

New appeal filed in 12-year sentence for cellphone in jail

Jan. 23, 2020 1:42 PM EST

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court should overturn an “astonishing” 12-year prison sentence given to an African American man who took a mobile phone into a jail cell when he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge, attorneys argued in court papers filed Thursday. The state's...

Members of a Kansas House committee indicate whether they want to be recorded as voting yes or no on a proposed amendment to the state constitution on abortion with thumbs-up and thumbs-down signs, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The measure cleared committee on a 15-6 show of hands and would reverse a Kansas Supreme Court decision declaring access to abortion a

Abortion rights backers unsure of strategy in Kansas fight

Jan. 22, 2020 7:48 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion rights backers grappled with how to derail a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution as abortion foes marked Wednesday's anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision by advancing two versions of the proposal in the Republican-controlled...

Court: GEICO must pay injured Kansas man for care from wife

Jan. 22, 2020 1:47 PM EST

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An insurance company must reimburse a Kansas man for the personal care his wife provided after he was injured in an automobile accident, the state Supreme Court ruled in rejecting that spouses are required to provide such support without compensation. The decision handed down Tuesday...

Wisconsin voter purge ruling appealed to state Supreme Court

Jan. 21, 2020 4:38 PM EST

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A conservative law firm on Tuesday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reverse a lower court's order putting on hold a ruling that would have forced the removal of up to 209,000 people from the state's voter rolls. Attorneys for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty asked the...