In Fernandes the SJC partially extended its past decision in Commonwealth v. Walczak, and required the Commonwealth to provide legal instructions to grand juries in adult murder cases when the case involves substantial evidence of a complete defense to the murder charge. It further acknowledged that “it is generally advisable for prosecutors to instruct grand juries on the elements of lesser offenses and defenses whenever such instructions would help […]
MACDL urges its members to oppose ABA Resolution 114, which calls on state legislatures to use an affirmative consent standard for sexual assault cases. The proposed standard will unconstitutionally shift the burden of proof to defendants facing extremely serious charges. MACDL has called upon the Massachusetts representatives to the ABA House of Delegates to oppose the resolution; our letter regarding the resolution is below. A listing of all […]
MACDL joined CPCS in submitting an amicus brief authored by attorney K. Hayne Barnwell in the case of Wallace W. v. Commonwealth. In the court’s August 9, 2019 decision, it held that prosecutors must prove to a judge beyond a reasonable doubt that a juvenile has committed a prior offense before they can prosecute him for a subsequent misdemeanor charge. David […]
Willie J. Davis, a respected and dynamic long-time criminal defense attorney, passed away on June 19, 2019. He was a friend and colleague to many MACDL members and a deeply valued member of our legal community. As William M. White Jr. wrote in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Willie was a “true giant of the law.” As a criminal defense lawyer, “[h]e […]
The First Circuit has upheld the Massachusetts District Court’s denial of absolute immunity to a former Assistant Attorney General who withheld exculpatory evidence of a state lab worker’s drug use. In a § 1983 suit by a defendant who served more than five years before his conviction was dismissed following disclosure that Sonja Farak was addicted to drugs and tampering with samples during her employment as a drug […]
MACDL’s Legislative Committee co-chair, Austin Tzeng, wrote regarding proposed regulations for compassionate release that they are overly restrictive and unnecessarily burdensome. MACDL supports compassionate release and will continue to monitor regulatory developments. Read our letter below.
To view/download full text of the letter click the image below