September 26th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

New trial ordered for woman in controversial warning-shot case

An appellate court has ordered a new trial for Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law to derail the prosecution, but a jury convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

The case gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.

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Filed under: Courts • Florida • Justice
August 29th, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Texting someone driving in New Jersey illegal

We've all heard the dictum: Don't text and drive. Now, a New Jersey state appeals court has an addendum: Don't text a driver - or you could be held liable if he causes a crash.

Kyle Best was behind the wheel of his pickup in September 2009 driving down a rural highway, when Shannon Colonna sent him a text.

The two were teens at the time. He was 18; she was 17, and they were dating. They sent each other 62 texts that day, according to court documents. That's 14 messages an hour.

In the opposing lane of traffic, David Kubert was cruising along on a big, blue touring motorcycle with his wife Linda along for the ride. They approached Best at exactly the wrong time.

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Filed under: Accidents • Courts • Justice • Lawsuit • New Jersey • U.S. • World Update
August 28th, 2013
03:11 AM ET

Girl raped, kills self; rapist gets 30 days

A mother in Montana is outraged that a high school teacher convicted of raping her 14-year-old daughter received only a month in prison - while her daughter took her own life.

"I think this sentence is a joke, a travesty," the mother, Auliea Hanlon, told CNN on Tuesday night, a day after the sentencing.

"People will lose faith in our justice system. I have."

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Filed under: Courts • Justice • Montana • U.S.
August 27th, 2013
02:36 PM ET

Zimmerman wants $200K from Florida

Lawyers for George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, plan to ask the state to reimburse Zimmerman for at least $200,000 of expenses incurred during his trial.

Under Florida law, an acquitted defendant cannot be held liable for court costs or any charges while detained in custody, as long as a clerk or judge consents to the refund.

The costs may include money spent for expert witnesses, travel expenses and fees for transcripts.

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Filed under: Courts • Florida • Trayvon Martin
August 19th, 2013
02:55 PM ET

Testimony: Promoter didn't pressure Jackson's doctor

The doctor convicted in Michael Jackson's death did not appeared to be pressured by AEG Live, an expert hired by the concert promoter testified Friday.

Dr. Gary Green returns to the witness stand Monday, the 72nd day of testimony in the Jackson wrongful death trial in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson's mother and three children contend AEG Live is liable in the pop icon's death because it hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who is serving a prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

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Filed under: California • Courts • Michael Jackson • Showbiz
August 14th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

Jesse Jackson Jr. going to jail; says he 'manned up'

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., once a rising Democratic star whose political fortunes imploded over the use of campaign finances to support lavish personal spending, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Wednesday.

"I misled the American people," Jackson, 48, said before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the term, which also included an order for restitution and community service.

The ex-Illinois lawmaker's wife, Sandi, received a 12-month sentence for her role in her husband's misuse of roughly $750,000 in campaign funds over several years.

"I don't have to tell you this is a very sad day and a very difficult case," Judge Jackson said, calling it an example of organized and joint misconduct and a violation of the public trust.

"You knew better," she said.

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Filed under: Courts • Justice • Politics
August 14th, 2013
03:37 PM ET

Jesse Jackson Jr. gets 30 months

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., once a rising Democratic star whose political fortunes imploded over the use of campaign finances to support lavish personal spending, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Wednesday.

"I misled the American people," Jackson, 48, said before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the term, which she said should be served in Alabama.

The ex-Illinois lawmaker's wife, Sandi, received a 12-month sentence for her role in her husband's misuse of roughly $750,000 in campaign funds over several years.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • District of Columbia • Illinois • Justice • Politics
Castro's victims resilient after torment
August 2nd, 2013
05:08 AM ET

Castro's victims resilient after torment

They were living in hell, and Ariel Castro did all he could to make sure they'd never escape.

He tied and chained them up, removed handles from doors and replaced them with padlocks. He rigged entrances to the house with makeshift alarms, threatened them with a gun and fed them only once a day.

He covered windows to keep them out of view and sunlight out of their rooms.

But Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus focused on the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel.

They nurtured the faith that they would one day be free. They clung to each other. They persevered and emerged from years of hell to find new life.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Content Partner • Courts • Crime • Health • Hostages • Justice • Ohio • Religion • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • U.S. • Uncategorized • World Update
July 17th, 2013
09:02 AM ET

Discord, details flow after Zimmerman trial

The George Zimmerman murder trial is over, but details from the case continue to emerge at a dizzying pace.

Several jurors have spoken out after the verdict. The prosecution's key witness has been offered a full ride to college. And Attorney General Eric Holder blasted "stand your ground" laws but gave no hint about whether Zimmerman will face civil rights charges.

Here's the latest on the Zimmerman trial aftermath:

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Filed under: Courts • Florida • Justice • Trayvon Martin
June 17th, 2013
01:44 PM ET

Justices strike part of Ariz. voter law

The Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a provision in Arizona's voter registration law that required proof of citizenship.

The 7-2 majority said the state's voter-approved Proposition 200 interfered with federal law designed to make voter registration easier.

The state called the provision a "sensible precaution" to prevent voter fraud. Civil rights group countered that it added an unconstitutional and burdensome layer of paperwork for tens of thousands of citizens.

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Filed under: Arizona • Courts
Jury begins weighing if Jodi Arias gets death
An Arizona jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder earlier this month.
May 21st, 2013
06:21 PM ET

Jury begins weighing if Jodi Arias gets death

Jurors in Arizona began deliberating Tuesday whether Jodi Arias will receive the death penalty or life in prison for killing ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008.

The jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder earlier this month.

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Filed under: Arizona • Courts • Justice
Wesley Snipes freed from prison
Wesley Snipes was convicted of failing to file federal tax returns for three years.
April 5th, 2013
04:37 PM ET

Wesley Snipes freed from prison

"Blade" actor Wesley Snipes has been released from a federal prison where he was serving a three-year sentence after being convicted on tax charges in February 2010.

The release to a supervised residential location in New York occurred Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons told CNN.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • Movies • Showbiz
April 2nd, 2013
03:54 AM ET

40 years after fire, man to go free

What is it like to be thrown behind bars when you're 16 and told you'll languish there for the rest of your life? All for a crime you adamantly claim you didn't commit.

Louis Taylor knows.

He was convicted of arson in a fire that killed 29 people.

On Tuesday, at a retrial in Tucson, Arizona, he will plead 'no contest' and walk free. After almost 43 years.

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Filed under: Arizona • Christmas • Courts • Crime • Holidays • Justice • U.S.
April 1st, 2013
07:27 PM ET

Powerball winner pays back child support

The winner of the $338 million Powerball jackpot paid $30,000 in back child support to the mother of three of his children Monday and had the warrant cleared during a hearing in a New Jersey family court.

The payment clears Pedro Quezada's record, probation officials said during the hearing in Paterson.

The warrant for Quezada was originally issued in 2009. He owed a total of $29,000 in child support, according to William Maer of the Passaic County Sheriff's Office. Quezada has five children, ages 5 to 23. It is not clear which children are covered by the payments.

Quezada told Family Court Judge Ernest Caposela that the children will now live with him.

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Filed under: Courts • Lottery • New Jersey • Powerball • U.S.
March 29th, 2013
05:17 PM ET

Khmer Rouge leader cleared for trial

The most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leader, Nuon Chea, has been declared fit for trial by a United Nations-backed court in Cambodia, the U.N. said Friday.

Nuon, the right-hand man to late leader Pol Pot and a former Cambodian prime minister, is reportedly 86 years old and is accused of murder and torture.

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Filed under: Cambodia • Courts • Justice • United Nations • World
Ex-Syracuse coach to sue ESPN
Prosecutors never filed charges against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
March 29th, 2013
05:14 PM ET

Ex-Syracuse coach to sue ESPN

Axed Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine intends to file a defamation suit against ESPN over its previous reporting that he sexually abused young boys.

Four people accused Fine of molesting them, including stepbrothers and former Syracuse ball boys Mike Lang and Bobby Davis, who in 2011 accused the coach of molesting them over several years.

Fine, who served as assistant basketball coach at Syracuse for 35 years, maintained his innocence throughout the investigations, and no charges were ever brought against him.

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Filed under: Courts • Justice
Judge OKs big airline merger
US Airways and United Airlines are working on a merger.
March 27th, 2013
05:32 PM ET

Judge OKs big airline merger

A federal bankruptcy judge gave approval on Wednesday for US Airways and American Airlines to proceed with their planned merger, according to a source familiar with the situation.

US Airways and American Airlines announced plans last month to join forces in an $11 billion deal to create the world's largest airline.

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Filed under: Air travel • Business • Courts • U.S.
DOMA plaintiff: Case 'went beautifully'
March 27th, 2013
01:20 PM ET

DOMA plaintiff: Case 'went beautifully'

  • Today's arguments focused on federal Defense of Marriage Act.
  • It denies Social Security, other spousal benefits to same-sex couples.
  • The court heard 80 minutes of arguments yesterday focused on California same-sex marriage ban.
  • Live updates below. Also, read the full story; and share your thoughts.

[Updated at 1:36 p.m.] We're wrapping up Day 2 of the same-sex marriage court debate here - check out our main story for more detail and analysis as it comes today. As always, we want to hear from you.

[Updated at 1:20 p.m.] "I'm very optimistic that DOMA will be struck down, it has no rational basis for being," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said just now. Pelosi was at the Supreme Court to hear arguments over DOMA and California's Proposition 8 over the past two days.

Pelosi's district has been at the epicenter of gay rights for decades. She called the oral arguments at the Supreme Court "thrilling."

FULL POST

Indiana school vouchers upheld
Indiana's controversial school voucher program was upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court.
March 27th, 2013
01:40 AM ET

Indiana school vouchers upheld

In a ruling that could reverberate nationwide, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the state's voucher program, which gives poor and middle class families public funds to help pay for private school tuition, including religious schools.

Indiana has the broadest school voucher program available to a range of incomes, critics say, and could set a precedent as other states seek ways to expand such programs.

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Filed under: Courts • Education • Indiana
March 27th, 2013
01:04 AM ET

Day 2 of same-sex marriage at Supreme Court

Day Two of the culture wars at the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage, and another opportunity for the justices to give political and legal clarity to a contentious issue.

The momentous week kicked off on Tuesday with arguments over California's same-sex marriage ban, and there was little indication when they concluded how the court might rule.

The stakes are high as the justices could, in one scenario, fundamentally alter how American law treats marriage with polls showing the public becoming more aware of the issue, and in some cases, more in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to legally wed.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Courts • Gay and lesbian • Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
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