The Supreme Judicial Court today vacated George Ortega's conviction for the 2012 murder of Steven Fuentes on Leyland Street in Dorchester, saying the judge in the case should have should have pressed prosecutors more on their decision to try to exclude a black woman from the jury - and should have told the jury to consider whether Fuentes's death was a case of self defense. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Massachusetts companies cannot enforce Massachusetts non-compete contract clauses on employees in states that bar non-compete agreements, such as California. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the state's 111-year-old law against political contributions by companies to candidates for state and local offices, saying it is not only constitutional but a safeguard against political corruption. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Massachusetts has a right to make in-state electricity generators cut their carbon emissions dramatically over the next 30 years.
It's the second time in two years that the state's highest court has recognized the science of climate change. Referring to the state law that called for cuts in carbon emissions through "cap regulation," the justices wrote: Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Anthony Robertson, convicted of fatally shooting Aaron Wornum in the head on Sumner Street in Dorchester on June 26, 2011, because the judge in the case failed to adequately consider whether the prosecution's rejection of two prospective jurors might have been racially biased. Read more.
In a case involving two feuding Quincy neighbors, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today it will never see a poem lovely as a tree. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today there was nothing unconstitutional about a judge ordering a woman charged with stealing from a dog-walking client to pay for her heroin addiction to undergo drug tests as a condition of letting her go without any jail time - and then ordering her into in-patient treatment when she tested positive. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a state law that blocks people from registering to vote in the 20 days before an election - but dropped a hint to the Legislature that, hey, you guys could change this if you want, before adding, it's OK if you don't want to. Read more.
A state limit on how many times a company can call somebody to demand payment of a debt includes robo-calls made by automated dialers, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today barred a ballot question that would have asked voters to increase taxes on people making more than $1 million a year. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a Texas native's conviction for illegal possession of an assault weapon and illegal possession of another gun, ruling that the Second Amendment still gives Massachusetts the right to ban assault weapons and regulate ownership of other guns. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today dismissed a wrongful-death suit by the father of an MIT graduate student who threw himself off the roof of a campus building, saying that while colleges do have some unique obligations to protect their students, there are limits to what they can be expected to do, in an age in which students, especially at the graduate level, expect to be treated as adults with rights, including that of privacy. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that there is no constitutional guarantee of a seat in a charter school and that the state can continue to limit the total number of charter-school seats. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today it was not going to hear Raymond White's appeal of his conviction on two first-degree murder convictions for the 1971 deaths of two security guards at a Columbia Road supermarket - at least not yet. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today dismissed a Revere man's conviction for possession of a stun gun, because the state's current complete ban on their ownership violates the Second Amendment. The ruling could spur legislation to regulate the weapons, similar to the way more traditional guns are. Read more.
The case of the mystery justice has likely been solved, officials say. A portrait with no ID hanging outside the door of Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants turns out to be Lemuel Shaw, who served nearly 30 years as chief justice in the mid-1800s.
Credit for IDing the justice, who served as chief justice between 1830 and 1860, goes to a longtime court officer with a background in forensic science - and extensive knowledge of the antiques and fine-art business, according to court officials: Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the town of Acton can't give a church in its historic town center a grant to repair its stained-glass windows, at least for the time being, not because of the First Amendment, but because of a section of the Massachusetts constitution related to grants to private institutions. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the drug-possession conviction of a man who was a passenger in a car pulled over because the driver had forgotten to put on the headlights one night. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the conviction of a Chelsea man for human trafficking, deriving support from prostitution, rape, and two counts of assault and battery, all involving his former girlfriend, whom he'd convinced to prostitute herself and whom prosecutors say he then raped, beat and threatened to kill when he became convinced she was withholding some of her earnings. Read more.
You run one of the oldest courts in North America, you go through a lot of judges. Outside the office of Ralph Gants, current chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, hangs this portrait of a former justice. Only problem is: Nobody knows who he is. Read more.
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