Top 10 Trials
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Top 10 Trials

Pull in first paragraph of feature story. The nation’s high court wiped away part of a federal antigay marriage law that kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that were otherwise available to married couples. (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post)
 
10. Manning gets stiff punishment for leaking secret documents
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10. Manning gets stiff punishment for leaking secret documents

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving more than 700,000 documents, including a video of a helicopter attack that mistakenly killed nine, to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks. After his conviction, Manning asked to be referred to as “Chelsea,” and now lives as a woman. (Sang Tan/AP)
 
9. High school football players convicted of raping teen from party
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9. High school football players convicted of raping teen from party

The juvenile rape trial of two Steubenville high school football players received global attention because of the roles texting and social media played in exposing the attack. Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, were sentenced to two years and one year, respectively, for raping a West Virginia girl. (Keith Srakocic/AP)
 
8. ‘Baby Veronica’ custody battle tests adoption rights
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8. ‘Baby Veronica’ custody battle tests adoption rights

Adoptive parents' rights and Native American culture clashed in the case of “Baby Veronica,” a 4-year-old girl caught in a protracted custody battle. In the end, her biological father, saying he loved his daughter too much to keep her in a media spotlight, stepped back and allowed a South Carolina couple to have custody. (Jeremy Charles/Washington Post)
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7. James ‘Whitey’ Bulger convicted of gangland murders
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7. James ‘Whitey’ Bulger convicted of gangland murders

After living on the lam for 16 years, notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was finally apprehended by authorities and put on trial. Bulger, who ran organized crime in the 1970s and 1980s, was convicted in August of 11 murders and other crimes. In November, he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus five years. (Boston Police/AP)
 
6. Supreme Court strikes down parts of Defense of Marriage Act
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6. Supreme Court strikes down parts of Defense of Marriage Act

The nation’s high court wiped away part of a federal antigay marriage law that kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that were otherwise available to married couples. That same historic day in June, the court allowed same-sex unions to continue in California. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
 
5. Jury clears concert promoter in Michael Jackson’s death
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5. Jury clears concert promoter in Michael Jackson’s death

In October, four years after Michael Jackson’s death, a jury cleared AEG Live, which had hired physician Conrad Murray to care for him. Jackson’s family had sought millions in compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Although they were unsuccessful, the trial did give fans a window into the final days of the “King of Pop.” (Al Seib/Getty Images)
 
4. A kidnapper caught, three Cleveland women get their lives back
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4. A kidnapper caught, three Cleveland women get their lives back

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were kidnapped from the streets of Cleveland, and were physically and sexually abused by their captor, Ariel Castro, for a decade. The women escaped, and Castro was convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping. Castro, sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years, was later found dead in his prison cell. (Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
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3. Amanda Knox’s second murder trial begins in Italy
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3. Amanda Knox’s second murder trial begins in Italy

With her initial murder conviction overturned in Italy, American student Amanda Knox would not leave her home in Seattle to face a second trial for the death of her roommate. That trial began without her, though her former boyfriend and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito was present. (Peter Kramer/NBC)
 
2. Jodi Arias awaits sentencing
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2. Jodi Arias awaits sentencing

Although a jury had no doubt about the guilt of the soft-spoken Jodi Arias in the brutal murder of her boyfriend, the same panel could not decide whether to sentence her to death. Prosecutors hope to sit a second jury to decide her fate. (Charlie Leight/Arizona Republic/AP)
 
1. George Zimmerman cleared in Trayvon Martin’s death
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1. George Zimmerman cleared in Trayvon Martin’s death

The jury acquitted neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, but politicians and civil rights activists continue to debate so-called “stand your ground” laws that allow people to fight back during confrontations. (Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel/AP)