The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that obnoxious comments, including invective-laced allegations of criminal wrongdoing and affairs with subordinates, are "protected speech" under the First Amendment when included in letters addressed to an elected official. But put the same comments in a letter to his wife, ask her if she's going to get plastic surgery when she goes into hiding after being run out of town, and you're treading on thin ice. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the six-month jail sentence of a Christian landlord who pushed a Muslim tenant down the stairs of her Somerville triple decker after harassing the tenant and her children for weeks about their faith. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today overturned a man's conviction for illegal gun possession in Roxbury because while police found him with a gun, they should never have stopped him in the first place - and that the fact that he tried to elude officers cannot be used against him because black men in Boston might have legitimate reasons to be wary of police. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today affirmed an order for a new trial for Sean Ellis, one of two men convicted of fatally shooting BPD Det. John Mulligan in 1993. The Suffolk County District Attorney's office says it will once again try Ellis for first-degree murder - in what will be his fourth trial on the charge.
The court had rejected Ellis's first appeal for a new trial in 2000, but agreed with a Superior Court judge that he should get a new trial because of the discovery of "evidence regarding the victim's participation in crimes of police corruption with several Boston police detectives who investigated his murder, and information provided to the police regarding possible third-party culprits." Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a state law and regulation intended to protect consumers from shoddy vehicle repairs applies to corporations as well. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today rejected Lexus of Watertown's claim that a jury was wrong to award a female manager a settlement in a sexual-harassment suit because there was no evidence her work output suffered during months of unwanted, sexually explicit remarks and actions by her supervisor. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that owners of apartment buildings have the right to a hearing to decide whether they should be forced to install sprinklers if they make major renovations. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that two Newton homeowners can't reclaim land once used for a rail line behind their houses because the federal government never formally declared the line "abandoned," even though it hasn't seen a train since 1972 - in part because the railroad tore out the rails in 1976. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a man's conviction for violating a probation violation against the use of marijuana even though he had a note from a doctor that he should be allowed to use medical marijuana. Read more.
A woman who says she slipped on a stone and broke her hip on a sidewalk at a Cape Cod garden shop will get to make her case to a jury that the store should be made to pay for her pain and suffering. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Daniel Francis, whom a jury found guilty of trafficking crack in 2005 because a key part of the evidence against him was certification from the disgraced chemist that the substance police found in his car - and in the mouth of a man who'd just left his car - was crack. Read more.
For the second time in two months, the Supreme Judicial Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of shaking a young child hard enough to cause brain damage, saying his lawyer should have tried to find a scientific witness to rebut the charges. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld Gregorio "Mikey" Lopez's conviction for killing his girlfriend's former boyfriend, Shoughan Morgan, on Mozart Street on March 11, 2009.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a ballot question that asks voters to outlaw keeping egg-laying hens, veal calves and breeding pigs in "cruel" confined quarters is legal. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a ballot question on ending the prohibition on recreational marijuana use is good enough to go before voters in November. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed a November ballot question aimed at forcing Massachusetts to abandon a set of national educational standards known as Common Core .
The state's highest court ruled that the six-part question asked voters to approve things that weren't really related and so violates a requirement set by the state constitution that ballot questions ask voters to approve or reject just a single basic idea at a time. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Suffolk County prosecutors can't use a gun as evidence against a man charged with illegal gun possession because the Boston police officers who found the weapon after stopping the car he was in for speeding failed to provide enough evidence the car was going too fast. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today the state can force the owner of an old gas station in Athol to clean up the mess left over from a 1994 gasoline spill despite a state law that exempts "petroleum" spills from rigorous cleanups. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Oswalt Millien of Woburn, saying his original lawyer screwed up by not finding a medical witness to counter prosecution claims that the only way his six-month-old daughter got serious brain injuries in 2009 was by him shaking her violently.
Millien was convicted and sentenced to four to five years in prison.
It's not that Millien's lawyer didn't know of experts who could back up Millien's argument that the infant hit her head on the floor when she fell off a couch, but that Millien's father, who was paying him, couldn't afford the cost of hiring one. Read more.
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