JUDGE BRENNAN VACATES STATEWIDE BAN ON ALCOHOL BREATH TESTS

In the consolidated case of COMMONWEALTH v. EVANDO ANANIAS, CHRISTIAN FIGUEROA, AND OTHERS, Judge Robert Brennan has ruled that the November 15, 2021 Order suspending use of Draeger Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer test results in criminal prosecutions is vacated. He also denied the Consolidated Defendants request that all breath test results obtained from Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer … Read more

FALSE STATEMENTS AND REFUSAL TO COOPERATE IS NOT ASSISTANCE REQUIRED FOR CHARGE OF ACCESSORY AFTER FACT

In Commonwealth v. Rivera the Supreme Judicial Court stated that “the defendant’s false statements to the police and refusal to cooperate … did not constitute the ‘aid’ or ‘assistance’ required to find him guilty as an accessory after the fact to murder under” the Massachusetts statute.   The basic facts of the case are as follow:  After … Read more

VERACITY OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT UNCERTAIN WHEN ALLEGED CONTROLLED BUY OCCURS IN MULTI-UNIT BUILDING

Commonwealth v. Ponte  invlolves an affidavit in support of application for search warrant, and the veracity of confidential informant (CI) referred to in the application.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s allowance of the defendant’s motion to suppress. It ruled that “in the circumstances of a controlled buy of drugs, police observation of a … Read more

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RULES THAT PROBABLE CAUSE TO MAKE ARREST DEFEATS CLAIM THAT ARREST WAS IN RETALIATION FOR SPEECH PROTECTED BY FIRST AMENDMENT

In Nieves v. Bartlett, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in the context of a civil suit pursuant to Civil Rights Statute 42 U.S.C.§1983, that “probable cause to make an arrest defeats a claim that the arrest was in retaliation for speech protected by the First Amendment.” The facts are as follows. “Respondent Russell Bartlett sued petitioners — … Read more

SJC RULES THAT PROSECUTION WITNESS MAY SIT AT PROSECUTION’S TABLE DURING TRIAL

In Commonwealth v. Javier (2019), the defendant was tried and convicted of first degree murder, the SJC ruled that the judge did not abuse her discretion in permitting a crucial prosecution witness to sit at the prosecution‟s table throughout the trial. The facts are as follows. The victim “was shot and killed while he was sitting in his parked Dodge … Read more

SJC RULES THAT DOCTRINE THAT VACATES CONVICTION AFTER DEATH NO LONGER APPLIES IN MASSACHUSETTS

In Commonwealth v. Hernandez the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) decided it will no longer follow  “the common-law doctrine of abatement ab initio, whereby, as was the case here, a criminal conviction is vacated and the indictment is dismissed after the defendant dies while his direct appeal as of right challenging that conviction is in process.” In … Read more

COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES SUPPRESSION OF CONTENTS OF CELL PHONE WHERE DELAY IN OBTAINING WARRANT NOT UNREASONABLE

In Commonwealth v. Arthur, the Court of Appeals reversed the suppression of the contents of cell phones seized by the police, because the trial  judge erroneously ruled that “the police unreasonably delayed obtaining a warrant to search the contents of” the phones. The basic ares were as follows. “The defendant and two accomplices,  Williams and … Read more