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MACDL Supports the Mass Bail Fund

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 […]

By |2020-08-13T18:37:21-04:00August 13th, 2020|Action Alert, President's Messages|Comments Off on MACDL Supports the Mass Bail Fund

Letter to the Judiciary Opposing Phase 3 Reopening

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:

  1. Suspend the plan to require in person appearances for non-emergency matters […]
By |2020-07-14T21:39:49-04:00July 14th, 2020|Action Alert, President's Messages|Comments Off on Letter to the Judiciary Opposing Phase 3 Reopening

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

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

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 |2020-03-24T15:24:41-04:00March 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 |2020-03-24T15:37:59-04:00March 23rd, 2020|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on Join MACDL Online to Lobby for Bar Advocate Rate Increases

2019 Board Election Results

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 […]

By |2019-09-24T14:10:42-04:00September 24th, 2019|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on 2019 Board Election Results

MACDL Calls for Immediate Investigation of BMC Judge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Victoria Kelleher
978-744-4126 | victoriouscause@gmail.com

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 […]

By |2019-09-11T12:28:05-04:00September 5th, 2019|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on MACDL Calls for Immediate Investigation of BMC Judge

MACDL President Condemns Indictment of Judge

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 […]

By |2019-04-26T00:58:58-04:00April 26th, 2019|News, President's Messages|Comments Off on MACDL President Condemns Indictment of Judge

Criminal Justice Reforms — Trees, Not Forest

In a letter to the editor, MACDL President Derege Demissie and Legislative Policy Chair Marty Rosenthal highlighted the failures of the Massachusetts Senate’criminal justice bill:

To the Editor [RE: “Criminal justice debate heats up” (Mon, Oct 9th)]:

The Senate’s criminal justice bill takes excellent steps towards USA’s recent Smart-on-Crime paradigm shift. But it’s important “trees” reforms fail three “forest” challenges: mass incarceration, broad racial injustice, and broader diversion from wasteful/harmful […]

By |2018-02-15T14:43:54-05:00February 15th, 2018|News, President's Messages|0 Comments
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