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Massachusetts Chief Justice Ralph Gants Calls for End to Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Drug Cases

In his State of the Judicial speech delivered today, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants argued that the Legislature should enact legislation to end mandatory sentencing in drug cases.  Gants, who has served on the Supreme Judicial Court since 2009, was elevated to chief justice three months ago upon the retirement of...
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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Murderer’s Assertion that Police Violated his Right to Consult with an Attorney

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of a man who argued that his statements to the police were obtained unlawfully.  The name of the case is Commonwealth v. Vincent. (more…)
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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Reverses Trial Court’s Order that Witness Testify and Likely Incriminate Himself

In an important decision delivered last Friday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed a district court judge's order that a witness in a criminal case testify at trial, even though the witness' testimony would tend to incriminate him.  The name of the case is Commonwealth v. Leclair.  (more…)
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Massachusetts District Court Judge Removed From Case for Conducting Trial Without Prosecutor

The Boston Globe reported today that Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert Cordy has ordered a district court judge to recuse himself from the retrial of a case in which the district court judge found the defendant not guilty when Suffolk County prosecutors were not in the courtroom at the time of the trial. (more…)
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Massachusetts Appeals Court Rules That Bad Immigration Advice May Entitle Non-Citizen to Withdraw his Guilty Pleas

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled yesterday that a non-citizen who pled guilty to two property crimes in 2009 may be entitled to withdraw his guilty pleas because his attorney failed to properly advise him regarding the effect the convictions would have on his immigration status.  The name of the case is Commonwealth v. Billy...
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