SUMMARY: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) clarified an earlier ruling enjoining the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) from publishing registry information on Level Two sex offenders classified before July 12, 2013. The SJC stated that SORB cannot use a post-July 12, 2013 failure to reclassify a Level Two as a Level Three as a post-July 12, 2013 finding of a Level Two, and thereby justify internet publication of the
SUMMARY: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) upheld the civil commitment of a defendant as a Sexually Dangerous Person (SDP) as a result of his diagnosis as having Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). The SJC rejected defendant’s Substantive Due Process claims that ASPD was insufficient to commit him as an SDP, clarifying that ASPD is sufficient proof for sexual dangerousness if there is a nexus between the disorder and the factors
SUMMARY: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) reversed a conviction for murder. Despite finding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction, the SJC found that the Superior Court had abused its discretion and created a constitutional structural error by failing to require the prosecution to give an adequate and genuine race-neutral reason for excluding a certain black person from the jury. The SJC also instructed the Superior Court
SUMMARY: In an earth-shifting case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) increased the standard of proof necessary for the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) to classify a convicted sex offender. The SJC increased the burden to a “clear and convincing” standard, replacing the older “preponderance of the evidence” standard. CASE NAME: Doe No. 380316 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, 473 Mass. 297 (2015) . DECISION: Unanimous, 7-0, opinion by Justice
SUMMARY: The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the defendant’s convictions for child rape, child pornography, and dissemination of matter harmful to minors when a 23-year old man and a 13-14 year old girl had sexual contact both in person and via cell phone. The defendant raised arguments based on legislative intent, First Amendment, and Improper jury instruction grounds, none of which the court found persuasive. The jury was notably limited by
Scott Greenfield on the differences and difficulties between trial and appellate work. A good read that highlights why you should retain specialized appellate counsel for an appeal, as opposed to using the same trial attorney. Trials and appeals are two completely different animals that require different sets of skills.
SUMMARY: In a Peeping Tom-type case, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for surreptitiously videotaping two unwitting teenage girls under their sundresses, thereby rejecting his argument that the law in question did not proscribe his conduct in public places. CASE NAME: Commonwealth v. Nascimento, ______Mass. App.Ct.______ (2017), Appeals Court No.16-P-1092, released June 7, 2017. DECISION: Unanimous (3-0), affirming the District Court, in an opinion by Justice Wolohojian. JUSTICES:
CASE NAME: Commonwealth v. Richard S. Nelson, ____ Mass. App. Ct.____ (2017), Appeals Court No. 16-P-808, Released June 5, 2017. SUMMARY: In the criminal (OUI) case of Commonwealth v. Richard S. Nelson, a unanimous Massachusetts Appeals Court held that a District Court did not abuse its discretion by failing to excuse a juror who admitted to potential bias. The Appeals Court went on to advise lower courts on how to