In Commonwealth v. Vazquez Diaz, MACDL, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, and the Boston Bar Association submitted an amicus brief arguing that a superior court judge acted in violation of Mr. Vazquez Diaz’s rights when it ordered him to undergo a virtual suppression hearing, over his objection and despite his willingness to wait to hold the hearing until it is safe to do so in person. The brief argues that a forced virtual suppression hearing violates the defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him, the defendant’s right to be present at all critical stages of the proceeding, the defendant’s right to a public trial, the public’s right to physically attend the hearing, and the defendant’s right to effective assistance of counsel. The amicus brief argues, “Requiring virtual suppression hearings upends the fundamental rights of the accused and will work particular harm against defendants of color and their communities.”

To view/download full text of the brief click the image below