About Ruth O'Meara-Costello

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So far Ruth O'Meara-Costello has created 39 blog entries.

MACDL Amicus Brief — Comm. v. Bailey-Sweeting

From Chauncey B. Wood, MACDL Amicus Curiae Committee

The Amicus Brief for Commonwealth vs. Bailey-Sweeting (available for viewing and download below) explains why gang databases are artificial racist constructs and unreliable indicators of criminal behavior. Therefore, the fact that someone has been placed in a gang database should not be a basis for reasonable suspicion that he or she has committed a crime.

Much like recent scholarship and legal advocacy […]

By |2021-04-26T12:26:10-04:00April 26th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on MACDL Amicus Brief — Comm. v. Bailey-Sweeting

Suffolk County Hinton Lab Initiative

On Monday March 22, 2021 the Suffolk County DA’s Office announced the Hinton Lab Initiative — a plan to identify a global resolution for any controlled substance conviction resulting from a Hinton Lab case between May 1, 2003 and August 30, 2012. DA Rollins’ office has pledged “to collaborate with the defense bar to identify a global resolution for any controlled substance conviction resulting from any analysis conducted at […]

By |2021-03-24T10:41:24-04:00March 24th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Suffolk County Hinton Lab Initiative

MACDL Amicus in Commonwealth v. Vazquez Diaz

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 […]

By |2021-01-27T17:38:49-05:00January 27th, 2021|News|Comments Off on MACDL Amicus in Commonwealth v. Vazquez Diaz

MACDL Amicus Supports Further Appellate Review in Case of Intentional Destruction of Evidence by Springfield Police

On January 4, 2021, MACDL filed an amicus letter, written by Attorney Amy Belger, in support of an application for Further Appellate Review in a case in which the trial judge concluded that members of the Narcotics Bureau of the Springfield Police Department intentionally destroyed evidence favorable to the defendant. A Springfield Police sergeant ordered the City Forester to remove trees near the scene in order to prevent the […]

By |2021-01-04T13:49:24-05:00January 4th, 2021|News|Comments Off on MACDL Amicus Supports Further Appellate Review in Case of Intentional Destruction of Evidence by Springfield Police

Complaint to SJC filed re: Houses of Correction failure to do routine COVID-19 testing

On December 24, 2020, CPCS and MACDL, represented by the ACLU of Massachusetts, filed a complaint with the single justice of the SJC alleging that the Houses of Correction (HOCs) failure to conduct routine, comprehensive COVID-19 testing and to meaningfully reduce their populations, as well as five HOCs’ failure to provide meaningful, timely, and confidential modes of communication between incarcerated individuals and their lawyers, violate constitutional guarantees concerning cruel […]

By |2021-01-04T12:51:18-05:00January 4th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Complaint to SJC filed re: Houses of Correction failure to do routine COVID-19 testing

ACLU & MACDL Amended Petition

On Monday, December 21, MACDL, CPCS, and ACLUM filed an amended petition in the Supreme Judicial Court alleging that Massachusetts Houses of Corrections still are not undertaking two essential steps to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 in communal living environments: routine, comprehensive COVID-19 testing, and meaningful population reductions, and that their failures violate the 8th Amendment and Article 26. We also argue that 5 facilities are violating the right […]

By |2020-12-22T09:59:56-05:00December 22nd, 2020|News|Comments Off on ACLU & MACDL Amended Petition

MACDL and CPCS Amicus Brief Challenges Parole Board’s “Non-Aggregation” Regulation

On August 20, 2020, CPCS and MACDL submitted an amicus brief to the SJC in Commonwealth v. Dinkins, the parole board’s regulation which makes it so people serving life sentences are “paroled” to any consecutive sentence, rather than having their parole eligibility periods aggregated to one date on which they have a true parole hearing that might actually result in their release into the community. When the […]

By |2020-10-10T11:33:36-04:00August 24th, 2020|Action Alert, News|Comments Off on MACDL and CPCS Amicus Brief Challenges Parole Board’s “Non-Aggregation” Regulation

Juveniles Should Get Credit for Pretrial Detention

MACDL Amicus for Commonwealth v. Lopez

Unlike adult defendants, children in Massachusetts do not receive credit for time spent in detention pretrial. The Commonwealth has justified this practice by emphasizing differences between juveniles and adults. As MACDL writes in its brief:

Children are indeed different, but DYS’s argument perverts that principle in a misguided effort to treat them worse than their adult counterparts. The reality is that pretrial detention […]

By |2020-08-17T20:20:36-04:00August 17th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Juveniles Should Get Credit for Pretrial Detention

MACDL President Responds to Rachael Rollins Comments about Defense Counsel

As reported in the Boston Globe and elsewhere, on April 30th, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins attacked defense lawyers during an appearance on WGBH, after a caller complained about having trouble reaching his attorney. Read MACDL President Victoria Kelleher’s response to her comments, below. The criminal defense bar has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect individuals in custody from the spread […]

By |2020-05-06T22:56:18-04:00May 6th, 2020|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on MACDL President Responds to Rachael Rollins Comments about Defense Counsel

MACDL and CPCS file SJC Petition Seeking Release of Incarcerated People in Massachusetts

MACDL and CPCS are the plaintiffs in a petition to the SJC, represented by lawyers from the ACLU of Massachusetts, asking the court to take immediate action to limit outbreaks of COVID-19 by reducing the numbers of people who are incarcerated in Massachusetts jails, prisons, and houses of correction, in order “to mitigate the mortal harm that the COVID-19 pandemic will inflict upon incarcerated people, on corrections staff, […]

By |2020-04-14T16:47:32-04:00March 24th, 2020|News|Comments Off on MACDL and CPCS file SJC Petition Seeking Release of Incarcerated People in Massachusetts
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