MACDL’s Board recently sent a letter to Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington, strongly objecting to DA Harrington’s choice to write an ex parte letter to the Chief Justice of the District Court system requesting the removal of the Honorable Jennifer Tyne from criminal cases. As the letter states, MACDL is deeply concerned by this indefensible and unethical effort to circumvent fair process and undermine the independent decision-making of […]
Bail is not a form of punishment. It is set in almost every case to ensure that those charged with a crime return to court during the lengthy period that it may take for the case to resolve. If bail is set in an amount the person can’t afford, he or she will be held in jail without any conviction. In other words, based solely on probable cause to […]
We have received numerous calls and emails from members who are understandably distressed by the Phase 3 reopening of the state courts, which includes mandatory, in-person appearances for non-emergency hearings such as summons arraignments. In response, MACDL’s Board addressed a letter to Chief Justice Gants and Chief Justice Carey citing our concerns, along with the following proposals:
- Suspend the plan to require in person appearances for non-emergency matters […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
THANKS TO ALL THOSE NAMED on the slate and all who voted. We welcome Aviva Jeruchim, Mona Igram and John Swomley as the newest members of the Board. They each bring a multitude of talents, strong opinions, and a collegial spirit, and will be a terrific asset to the organization and our members. Current board members Luke Ryan, Ed Masferrer and Shira Diner were all re-elected. We recognize Marty Rosenthal’s contributions […]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Victoria Kelleher
978-744-4126 | firstname.lastname@example.org
MACDL Calls for Immediate Investigation of BMC Judge Richard Sinnott
Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott’s decision to place a lawyer in handcuffs and detain her for several hours for “interrupting” him is a gross abuse of power that requires judicial disciplinary action.
Susan Church, a prominent lawyer who was awarded the Pro Bono Publico award by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2017, appeared pro […]
MACDL President Derege Demissie represented MACDL today in a debate on WGBH regarding U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s indictment of Massachusetts Judge Shelley M. Joseph for allegedly helping a defendant in her courtroom avoid detention by ICE agents. MACDL strongly condemns the actions of the U.S. Attorney in bringing this prosecution to intimidate state court judges. ICE’s actions in the courthouses of Massachusetts deny both US citizens and noncitizens due […]