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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

Letter from Suffolk County District Attorney

September 22, 2020

MACDL and CPCS received a letter from Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney, regarding the federal charges recently announced against nine current and retired Boston Police Department Officers. In the letter Rachel Rollins states, “I am deeply dismayed by the allegations outlined in federal court. If these allegations are true, these men and women have dishonored their badges by stealing taxpayer dollars on multiple occasions over a […]

By |2020-09-28T23:30:05-04:00September 28th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Letter from Suffolk County District Attorney

The Road to Commonwealth v. Long

September 21, 2020
Chauncey Wood, co-chair MACDL amicus committee

In the midst of an otherwise horrible week for Justice in America, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a ground-breaking decision on racial justice on September 17, 2020. In Commonwealth v. Long, SJC-12868, the Court unanimously agreed that its previous remedy for addressing racially motivated traffic stops under the equal protection clause of the state and federal constitutions, a statistical […]

By |2020-09-22T11:34:46-04:00September 22nd, 2020|News|Comments Off on The Road to Commonwealth v. Long

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

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 |2020-08-05T12:44:44-04:00August 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 |2020-06-15T19:59:06-04:00June 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 |2020-06-01T16:53:43-04:00June 1st, 2020|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on Say Their Names
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