Ruth O'Meara-Costello

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So far Ruth O'Meara-Costello has created 25 blog entries.

MACDL President Testifies in Support of Act to Reduce Mass Incarceration

MACDL President Victoria Kelleher testified on October 8, 2019 on behalf of MACDL before the Legislative Committee in support of H3358/S826, An Act to Reduce Mass Incarceration, which would permit a parole hearing for prisoners serving life in prison after 25 years. Her testimony focused on (1) the negligible difference between first degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without the […]

By |2019-10-17T12:44:56+00:00October 17th, 2019|News|Comments Off on MACDL President Testifies in Support of Act to Reduce Mass Incarceration

MACDL and Allies Submit Amicus Brief on Fourth Amendment Issues in Commonwealth v. McCarthy

MACDL, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services have submitted a brief on cutting-edge Fourth Amendment issues in Commonwealth v. McCarthy, SJC-12750. The brief attacks the rapidly expanding and largely unfettered use of Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) by law enforcement in the Commonwealth and across the country. In the absence of ANY legislation regulating the use of ALPRs […]

By |2019-09-12T22:43:38+00:00September 12th, 2019|News|Comments Off on MACDL and Allies Submit Amicus Brief on Fourth Amendment Issues in Commonwealth v. McCarthy

SJC Decides Commonwealth v. Fernandes, Following Submission of MACDL Amicus

In Fernandes the SJC partially extended its past decision in Commonwealth v. Walczak, and required the Commonwealth to provide legal instructions to grand juries in adult murder cases when the case involves substantial evidence of a complete defense to the murder charge. It further acknowledged that “it is generally advisable for prosecutors to instruct grand juries on the elements of lesser offenses and defenses whenever such instructions would help […]

By |2019-09-12T22:37:28+00:00September 4th, 2019|News|Comments Off on SJC Decides Commonwealth v. Fernandes, Following Submission of MACDL Amicus

Action Alert: Oppose ABA Resolution 114

MACDL urges its members to oppose ABA Resolution 114, which calls on state legislatures to use an affirmative consent standard for sexual assault cases. The proposed standard will unconstitutionally shift the burden of proof to defendants facing extremely serious charges. MACDL has called upon the Massachusetts representatives to the ABA House of Delegates to oppose the resolution; our letter regarding the resolution is below. A listing of all […]

By |2019-08-09T13:21:17+00:00August 9th, 2019|Action Alert|Comments Off on Action Alert: Oppose ABA Resolution 114

SJC Decides Wallace W. v. Commonwealth Following Submission of MACDL Amicus

MACDL joined CPCS in submitting an amicus brief authored by attorney K. Hayne Barnwell in the case of Wallace W. v. Commonwealth. In the court’s August 9, 2019 decision, it held that prosecutors must prove to a judge beyond a reasonable doubt that a juvenile has committed a prior offense before they can prosecute him for a subsequent misdemeanor charge. David […]

By |2019-08-19T13:00:24+00:00August 9th, 2019|News|Comments Off on SJC Decides Wallace W. v. Commonwealth Following Submission of MACDL Amicus

MACDL Mourns Willie J. Davis

Willie J. Davis, a respected and dynamic long-time criminal defense attorney, passed away on June 19, 2019. He was a friend and colleague to many MACDL members and a deeply valued member of our legal community. As William M. White Jr. wrote in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Willie was a “true giant of the law.” As a criminal defense lawyer, “[h]e […]

By |2019-07-16T20:19:28+00:00July 16th, 2019|News|Comments Off on MACDL Mourns Willie J. Davis

First Circuit Sides with MACDL Amicus Brief in Suit by Farak Defendant

The First Circuit has upheld the Massachusetts District Court’s denial of absolute immunity to a former Assistant Attorney General who withheld exculpatory evidence of a state lab worker’s drug use. In a § 1983 suit by a defendant who served more than five years before his conviction was dismissed following disclosure that Sonja Farak was addicted to drugs and tampering with samples during her employment as a drug […]

By |2019-07-16T19:52:45+00:00June 26th, 2019|News|Comments Off on First Circuit Sides with MACDL Amicus Brief in Suit by Farak Defendant

MACDL Weighs in on Compassionate Release

MACDL’s Legislative Committee co-chair, Austin Tzeng, wrote regarding proposed regulations for compassionate release that they are overly restrictive and unnecessarily burdensome. MACDL supports compassionate release and will continue to monitor regulatory developments. Read our letter below.

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

By |2019-08-19T12:44:16+00:00June 20th, 2019|News|Comments Off on MACDL Weighs in on Compassionate Release

MACDL Opposes Proposed Changes to Laws Regarding Pretrial Detention

MACDL has submitted a letter to members of the Massachusetts House and Senate Judiciary Committees, formally opposing H.66, “An Act to Protect the Commonwealth.” That proposed bill would vastly and unnecessarily expand G.L. c. 58A and other laws authorizing pretrial detention. As MACDL’s letter states, the legislation “would further unjustly incarcerate a disproportionate number of our citizens on a pretrial basis, without affording them an opportunity to post bail, […]

By |2019-07-16T20:09:11+00:00June 14th, 2019|News|Comments Off on MACDL Opposes Proposed Changes to Laws Regarding Pretrial Detention

Oppose Governor Baker’s Parole Board Nominee

UPDATE: The Governor’s Council hearing is on Wednesday, June 26th. Please continue to contact your councillors and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito


Dear MACDL Members, Colleagues and Friends,

Thanks to MACDL and other community groups, our Governor’s Councillors have been flooded with calls and emails in the past few days! During the hearing on Wednesday, many Councillors referred to their many constituents who have been voicing […]

By |2019-06-24T13:27:44+00:00June 10th, 2019|Action Alert|Comments Off on Oppose Governor Baker’s Parole Board Nominee
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