Latest State courts News

Iowa high court launches courthouse break-ins investigation

Sep. 20, 2019 9:16 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says it has hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the arrests of two cybersecurity workers who were found inside a closed central Iowa courthouse and say they were just doing their jobs testing courthouse security. The state's high...

Tennessee's abortion wait period law faces court arguments

Sep. 20, 2019 5:31 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Four years after Tennessee passed a law requiring a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, abortion clinics are getting a chance to argue against it in court. Beginning Monday in federal court in Nashville, attorneys for five of the state's seven abortion clinics will...

Lawyers' group asks Supreme Court to review 'Serial' case

Sep. 20, 2019 3:22 PM EDT

BALTIMORE (AP) — The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has asked the Supreme Court to review the case of a Maryland man convicted in a case chronicled on the podcast "Serial." News outlets report the group filed an amicus brief in the case of Adnan Syed. The brief says Syed was not given a...

Man tried 6 times for murder seeks bail, end to charges

Sep. 19, 2019 6:11 PM EDT

A Mississippi man who's been tried six times for murder asked a judge to free him on bail and throw out the charges against him in motions filed Thursday in state court. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions of 49-year-old Curtis Flowers in June, finding racial bias in jury selection. Prosecutors say...

Arkansas court won't let judge hear execution cases again

Sep. 19, 2019 3:14 PM EDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court said Thursday it won't allow a judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked the state from using a lethal injection drug to resume hearing execution cases. The court rejected the request by Pulaski County Circuit...

Authorities identify man hurt in courthouse shooting

Sep. 19, 2019 2:00 PM EDT

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who was shot inside an Alabama courthouse as being a 72-year-old resident with multiple ammunition containers. News outlets reported Thursday that Jackson County sheriff's officials say Fred Swearengin had a handgun and four magazines containing...

Courthouse break-ins appear part of Iowa security contract

Sep. 18, 2019 5:51 PM EDT

The state of Iowa released documents Wednesday that appear to support the claims of two men who said they were just doing their job testing security when they were arrested on suspicion of breaking into a courthouse this month. The men were working for Colorado-based cybersecurity company Coalfire when they were...

Teen murder sentences: Oregon asks high court to step in

Sep. 17, 2019 12:10 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Justice is taking the Salem case of twin brothers sentenced as teenagers to almost 67 years in prison to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Statesman Journal reports that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is asking the highest court to review and place a hold on...

Jehovah's Witnesses ask court to reverse $35M abuse verdict

Sep. 13, 2019 3:34 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An attorney for the Jehovah's Witnesses asked the Montana Supreme Court on Friday to reverse a $35 million verdict against the church for not reporting a girl's sexual abuse to authorities. Last year, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and $31 million in punitive...

In era of legal pot, can police search cars based on odor?

Sep. 13, 2019 10:49 AM EDT

Sniff and search is no longer the default for police in some of the 33 states that have legalized marijuana. Traditionally, an officer could use the merest whiff of weed to justify a warrantless vehicle search, and whatever turned up — pot, other kinds of illegal drugs, something else the motorist wasn't...