Latest State courts News

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2019 file photo, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman pauses at Boone County Circuit Court in Madison, W.Va. A little over a year removed from a corruption scandal centered on a pricey renovations of court offices, the West Virginia Supreme Court's lineup is about to finish its own complete makeover, barring a last-second filing. There are far fewer names for the three races in May than there were for two spots up for grabs in a November 2018 special election.  Missing from the list of nine candidates is Workman, whose 12-year term also ends this year.   (AP Photo/John Raby, File)

Fewer candidates seek WVa Supreme Court seats after scandal

Jan. 26, 2020 2:42 PM EST

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A little over a year removed from an impeachment scandal that included pricey renovations of court offices, the West Virginia Supreme Court's lineup is about to finish its own complete makeover, barring a last-second filing. There are far fewer names for the three races in May than...

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...

Lawmakers slam Missouri Supreme Court over bail rules

Jan. 24, 2020 6:08 PM EST

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Dozens of Missouri lawmakers have asked the state Supreme Court to undo new rules limiting when judges can impose bail, a move that was aimed at reducing court costs that can derail the lives of low-income defendants. More than 80 legislators signed on to a letter sent by Rep. Justin...

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...

Florida Supreme Court on the death penalty: We got it wrong

Jan. 23, 2020 11:20 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court said Thursday it erred in 2016 when it ruled a jury must be unanimous in deciding a convicted murderer should be sentenced to death, announcing a dramatic legal reversal that could affect dozens of death row cases. The opinion pulled back from the court's...

Pennsylvania high court upholds old precedent in fracking

Jan. 23, 2020 2:28 PM EST

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled to uphold a legal principle that allows drillers to drain oil and natural gas from outside their property lines. The court overturned a 2018 decision by the lower Superior Court on Wednesday that said the “rule of capture" does not...

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...