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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 |June 15th, 2020|Categories: 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 |June 1st, 2020|Categories: 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 |May 6th, 2020|Categories: 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 |March 24th, 2020|Categories: 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 |March 24th, 2020|Categories: 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 |March 23rd, 2020|Categories: News, President's Messages|Comments Off on Join MACDL Online to Lobby for Bar Advocate Rate Increases