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Follow Up on Letter to Judiciary

July 31, 2020

Dear Chief Justices Gants, Carey, Ronquillo, Fabricant and Dawley,

On behalf of MACDL, we thank you for the opportunity to meet via Zoom on July 22, 2020, along with members from the Committee for Pubic Counsel Services, to discuss the issues raised in our July 14, 2020 letter to you. We are pleased and grateful that you expressed a willingness to listen to our concerns and to work with […]

By |2020-08-05T12:44:44+00:00August 5th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Follow Up on Letter to Judiciary

Dismantling Structural Racism in the Commonwealth’s Criminal Courts

June 15, 2020 — In reply to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court


MACDL’s Board of Directors and Racial Justice Committee take seriously the Supreme Judicial Court’s declaration that we all must all harness the power and privilege that comes with our professional accomplishments to end racial injustice. There is no neutrality in racism; failing to take aggressive measures allows racist […]

By |2020-06-15T19:59:06+00:00June 15th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Dismantling Structural Racism in the Commonwealth’s Criminal Courts

Say Their Names

The Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is outraged by the most recent show of force and violence against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, events that are endemic to Black America and reflect the history of racism and oppression in this country.

But it is not enough to be outraged. We must confront how our criminal justice system has failed people of color.

Our system has perpetuated racism […]

By |2020-06-01T16:53:43+00:00June 1st, 2020|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on Say Their Names

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+00:00May 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+00:00March 24th, 2020|News|Comments Off on MACDL and CPCS file SJC Petition Seeking Release of Incarcerated People in Massachusetts

The Pandemic Shouldn’t Deprive Prisoners of Their Rights

Commentary by MACDL Board president, Victoria Kelleher, posted on the WBUR website.


Last week, several men and women with preexisting health concerns were released from pretrial custody — some to home confinement, some with GPS monitoring — by agreement with the Suffolk County prosecutor. Each represented one less person imprisoned without due process; one less person to get infected with the coronavirus behind bars.

Since […]

By |2020-03-24T15:24:41+00:00March 24th, 2020|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on The Pandemic Shouldn’t Deprive Prisoners of Their Rights

Join MACDL Online to Lobby for Bar Advocate Rate Increases

Before any of us heard of COVID-19, MACDL had dedicated itself to pursuing constitutionally mandated rate increases–first in Carasquillo v. Hampden County, and then in lobbying efforts. These increases are: $85 for District Court, $125 for Superior Court, and $148 for Murder Panel. These are not fantasy figures. Consider that of those states that pay bar advocates hourly rates, only Oregon and Wisconsin pay less for misdemeanors than Massachusetts […]

By |2020-03-24T15:37:59+00:00March 23rd, 2020|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on Join MACDL Online to Lobby for Bar Advocate Rate Increases

MACDL and CPCS Win Preliminary Injunction in Souza Baranowski Lawsuit

On Friday, February 28, Judge Cannone granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by MACDL and CPCS against the Massachusetts Department of Condition, regarding conditions at the Souza Baranowski prison. The ruling will allow prisoners to keep legal paperwork in their cells, have sufficient time during business hours to make attorney phone calls, and have in-person visits with their lawyers.

By |2020-02-29T17:29:04+00:00February 29th, 2020|News|Comments Off on MACDL and CPCS Win Preliminary Injunction in Souza Baranowski Lawsuit

MACDL Amicus Seeks to End Pretextual Stops

On February 19, 2020, MACDL, the New England Innocence Project, Lawyers for Civil Rights, and the Houston Institute filed an amicus brief in Commonwealth v. Long, currently pending before the Supreme Judicial Court. The brief asks the court to chart a new path in order to effectively address the problem of racially discriminatory pretextual stops.

As the brief argues, “[o]verwhelming empirical evidence of pervasive racial disparities in traffic enforcement mandates […]

By |2020-02-26T21:51:36+00:00February 26th, 2020|News|Comments Off on MACDL Amicus Seeks to End Pretextual Stops

MACDL Calls on SJC to Increase Bar Advocate Rates

MACDL today, October 17, 2019 MACDL today, October 17, 2019, joined with Hampden Lawyers for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (“ACLUM”) and a team of lawyers from the law firm Morgan Lewis serving as pro bono counsel to file an amicus brief in Carrasquillo v. Hampden County District Court, an appeal pending before the SJC and scheduled to be argued in November.

In […]

By |2020-03-24T15:38:42+00:00October 17th, 2019|News|Comments Off on MACDL Calls on SJC to Increase Bar Advocate Rates
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