Supreme Court reviews rights of defendants<p></p>

Published June 19, 2012


Court reviews rights of defendants

The Supreme Court retreated Monday from its view that a criminal defendant's right to confront his accusers requires live trial testimony from the crime lab analyst who identified him as the culprit.

By a splintered 5-4 vote, the justices upheld the conviction of a Chicago rapist who was found guilty based on a DNA match done by a crime lab in Maryland. The majority said the expert testimony provided by an Illinois police lab analyst was sufficient.

Three years ago, the court said that since lab reports supply crucial testimony, a technician must testify. Two years ago, the court said the same in another case.

Monday's ruling came as the court entered the last two weeks of its term. Major rulings on health care, immigration and broadcast indecency are still pending. The justices will hand down decisions on Thursday and again on several days next week.


Romney to finish bus tour in Michigan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to complete his five-day, six-state bus tour today in Michigan. Before arriving in Iowa on Monday, he had made stops in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"The people of this country are having a hard time. These are challenging times for Americans, and because of his failed record his campaign is having a hard time deciding what to talk about," Romney said Monday.

He told reporters that he thinks he can win in Michigan, the state where he was born and grew up. If that happens, he says, "I become president."


Obama picks Kerry to stand in for Romney

President Barack Obama is turning to one Massachusetts pol to help him prepare for a pivotal showdown with another.

John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president in 2004, will serve as a stand-in for 2012 Republican standard bearer Mitt Romney in Obama's preparations for nationally televised debates, aides to the Massachusetts senator and the Obama campaign confirmed Monday.

Kerry is a skilled sparring partner and is familiar with Romney's political resume, having viewed his governorship and his 1994 campaign for U.S. Senate.


Ex-Rutgers student won't be deported

A former Rutgers University student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate will not be deported to his native India, federal immigration authorities said Monday.

Dharun Ravi, 20, is due to be released from the Middlesex County Jail today after serving 20 days of a 30-day jail sentence.

He was convicted of 15 criminal counts for using a webcam to see his roommate kissing another man in September 2010. Days later, the roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide.

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Nominee as envoy to Iraq withdraws

President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to Iraq withdrew from consideration Monday after a series of racy emails fueled Republican opposition and eroded Democratic support for his confirmation in the Senate.

Emails posted on a website this month after his nomination made clear that while working for President George W. Bush in Baghdad in 2008, Brett McGurk engaged in a romantic relationship with Gina Chon of the Wall Street Journal. The two married this spring, but Chon resigned last week from the paper, which said she had inappropriately shown unpublished articles to McGurk.

Times wires