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Nov 24, 2015

2nd Circuit: Targeted killings memos can be kept secret

NEW YORK — The U.S. government can keep secret various memos related to its legal justification for using drones to kill citizens suspected of terrorism overseas, a federal appeals court said in a decision unsealed Monday. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reached its decision in a second round of Freedom of Information Act […]

Nov 23, 2015

Venue owners appeal fine for denying lesbian wedding

Owners of a wedding venue who were fined $13,000 for violating the state’s anti-discrimination law argued Monday that they should be legally allowed to follow their Christian faith. The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm north of Albany refused to host the 2013 wedding of Melisa and Jennie McCarthy, citing their religious beliefs. Now the business […]

Nov 3, 2015

Court rejects appeals in separate cases

SCHENECTADY — An appeals court has upheld the convictions of a pair of prisoners serving lengthy prison terms in upstate New York. The Daily Gazette of Schenectady reports 36-year-old Luvadollar Godallah and 57-year-old Eric Launder’s appeals were rejected last week. Godallah appealed his burglary and assault convictions in a 2011 home invasion at a Schenectady […]

Oct 30, 2015

Judge upholds man’s conviction in plot with X-ray weapon

ALBANY — A federal judge has upheld a man’s conviction for plotting to kill Muslims with a mobile X-ray device, rejecting the argument that there was no actual conspiracy with a device that never worked. Judge Gary Sharpe, who presided at Glendon Scott Crawford’s trial in August, has refused to throw out his convictions. Sharpe […]

Oct 22, 2015

Court rejects pregnant driver’s conviction in baby’s death

ALBANY — The state’s highest court on Thursday rejected the manslaughter conviction of a woman who was pregnant when she crashed her car and whose baby was delivered by emergency surgery but died days later. Prosecutors had argued that Jennifer Jorgensen was speeding, intoxicated and unbelted when she crossed into oncoming traffic in 2008 and […]

Oct 22, 2015

COA: Mental patient can challenge unlawful detention

ALBANY — New York’s top court ruled Thursday that a mentally ill patient who is sent involuntarily to a psychiatric hospital has a right to challenge detention once the court order for treatment expires. The Court of Appeals, split 5-1, said New York’s mental health statute doesn’t preclude patients who believe they have sufficiently recovered […]

Oct 22, 2015

Baby-killing mother seeks to overturn conviction

A mother convicted of killing her infant daughter in 2001 by setting fire to their residence is trying to get her conviction overturned. Racheal Casey, 38, is represented on appeal by attorney Keir M. Weyble, a professor at Cornell Law School, who Wednesday told a panel of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department that Casey’s defense […]

Oct 13, 2015

Murder conviction stands in Buffalo bus driver’s killing

A second-degree murder charge will stand against a Buffalo man convicted on circumstantial evidence of firing the shot that killed another man sitting on his porch, waiting for a ride to work. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department on Friday unanimously rejected the claims of Joshua Mitchell, 28, and affirmed his conviction for the Feb. 1, […]

Oct 12, 2015

Monroe County man’s resisting arrest charge dismissed

A resisting arrest conviction has been dismissed against a Monroe County man initially charged with disorderly conduct for standing on a Rochester street corner. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department agreed with John C. Howard that a jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The panel dismissed the indictment and sent the case back […]

Oct 9, 2015

Robbery conviction tossed, murder counts stand

An underlying robbery charge, used to convict a Buffalo man of murder, has been thrown out by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Now Brandon Harper’s lawyer is going to try to get two murder convictions dismissed because they are based on being committed during an attempted robbery. Rochester attorney David M. Abbatoy also plans to […]

Oct 6, 2015

Teen’s manslaughter conviction stands in brutal murder

Even though a teenage gang member did not inflict the fatal stab wounds to a 16-year-old boy, his participation in the murder was enough to support his conviction of first-degree manslaughter. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department on Friday affirmed the 2013 conviction of Ezeiekile Nafi, then 17, in the July 2012 killing of Darren Brown, […]

Oct 6, 2015

Casino developers granted leave to Court of Appeals

Developers of a proposed casino in the Seneca County town of Tyre will have their case defending against a group of opposed residents heard by the state’s highest court. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department on Friday rejected their request to re-argue before its court, but granted a motion for leave to the state Court of […]

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