Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Reverses Murder Conviction Due to Unexplained Exclusion of Black Person from Jury, Despite Sufficient Evidence Otherwise to Convict

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

In Juror Bias Case, Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Verdict

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