The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Daniel Francis, whom a jury found guilty of trafficking crack in 2005 because a key part of the evidence against him was certification from the disgraced chemist that the substance police found in his car - and in the mouth of a man who'd just left his car - was crack. Read more.
For the second time in two months, the Supreme Judicial Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of shaking a young child hard enough to cause brain damage, saying his lawyer should have tried to find a scientific witness to rebut the charges. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld Gregorio "Mikey" Lopez's conviction for killing his girlfriend's former boyfriend, Shoughan Morgan, on Mozart Street on March 11, 2009.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a ballot question that asks voters to outlaw keeping egg-laying hens, veal calves and breeding pigs in "cruel" confined quarters is legal. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a ballot question on ending the prohibition on recreational marijuana use is good enough to go before voters in November. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed a November ballot question aimed at forcing Massachusetts to abandon a set of national educational standards known as Common Core .
The state's highest court ruled that the six-part question asked voters to approve things that weren't really related and so violates a requirement set by the state constitution that ballot questions ask voters to approve or reject just a single basic idea at a time. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Suffolk County prosecutors can't use a gun as evidence against a man charged with illegal gun possession because the Boston police officers who found the weapon after stopping the car he was in for speeding failed to provide enough evidence the car was going too fast. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today the state can force the owner of an old gas station in Athol to clean up the mess left over from a 1994 gasoline spill despite a state law that exempts "petroleum" spills from rigorous cleanups. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Oswalt Millien of Woburn, saying his original lawyer screwed up by not finding a medical witness to counter prosecution claims that the only way his six-month-old daughter got serious brain injuries in 2009 was by him shaking her violently.
Millien was convicted and sentenced to four to five years in prison.
It's not that Millien's lawyer didn't know of experts who could back up Millien's argument that the infant hit her head on the floor when she fell off a couch, but that Millien's father, who was paying him, couldn't afford the cost of hiring one. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a lawyer fired from a downtown firm will get to make her case to a jury that she was terminated because of her gender. A lower-court judge had dismissed Kamee Verdrager's lawsuit against Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, but the state's highest court today reinstated the gender-discrimination parts of the case. Read more.
In a ruling that could, among other things, force Massachusetts to devise automobile emissions standards even tougher than California's, the Supreme Judicial Court today ordered the state to do better at reducing overall greenhouse emissions. Read more.
WBUR reports. The court has seven justices.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that prosecutors can use photos found on the phone of Hyde Park man against him when he comes to trial on gun charges related to a 2011 gun battle outside his apartment.
That the decision came in a 4-3 vote, however, highlights the court's struggles to adapt search-and-seizure laws and decisions that date to the age of quill pens to the current digital world. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today the state can keep children away from a would-be foster couple who believe corporal punishment is part of their religious duty - even if they agree to limit the spanking to their natural children and not spank any foster children.
Gregory and Melanie Magazu of Fitchburg, who have two children of their own, sought to become foster and "pre-adoptive" parents in 2012, but were denied permission by the state Department of Children and Families because they said their Christian beliefs sometimes compelled them to spank their own children. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a Belmont man's OUI conviction that came about due to an anonymous 911 about a swerving car on Memorial Drive by a state trooper who didn't actually see the swerving.
But in upholding John DePiero's conviction for a 2011 arrest, the state's highest court broke with the US Supreme Court, which ruled in 2014 that anonymous 911 calls are inherently legitimate as tips that can lead to a traffic stop these days because false 911 calls can be tracked. The SJC ruled that, in Massachusetts at least, unless 911 callers are first informed their calls can be tracked, an anonymous caller with malice on his mind might still make that false report if he was unaware he could be tracked. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court next month hears arguments on a case involving a Somerville landlord - and pastor at a local church - convicted of pushing a Muslim tenant down the stairs, several weeks after the landlord had screamed at the woman and her kids about how Muslims were wicked and would burn in hell. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that school districts cannot withhold the financial details of individualized education programs for special-education students placed in specialized private schools - but that they can strike any information in those records that might identify specific students and their learning disabilities, such as their names, ages and the schools they attend. Read more.
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