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 the grand jury to understand the legal significance of mitigating circumstances and defenses.” MACDL’s Amicus brief advocated for the complete extension of Walczak.

To view/download full text of the brief click the image below