SJC

By - 8/28/15 - 11:31 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed a Lynn ordinance that barred serious sex offenders from roughly 95% of all residences in the city.

The state's highest court ruled that the 2011 Lynn ordinance, which barred Level 2 and 3 offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools and parks, was illegal because the legislature gave the state exclusive control over the monitoring of sex offenders after their release from prison or treatment. The ruling could also affect similar ordinances in some 40 Massachusetts communities. Read more.

By - 8/18/15 - 11:44 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that police and prosecutors proved they had a good reason to take a look at the location data for Shabazz Augustine's cell phone for the period in 2004 when his girlfriend went missing, then her car went up in flames, then her body was found floating in the Charles, wrapped in plastic bags, with weights chained to it. Read more.

By - 8/14/15 - 11:57 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Suffolk County prosecutors cannot use a gun that fell down a man's pant leg after he was stopped by police as evidence against him because officers didn't have enough evidence to warrant "seizing" him in the first place.

By - 8/14/15 - 11:16 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Suffolk County prosecutors can use a gun found in a car occupied by suspected gang members as evidence in a trial against two of them on gun charges. Read more.

By - 8/13/15 - 11:17 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a 2012 state law that tries to crack down on sex trafficking is constitutional and so two Roxbury pimps got almost everything they deserved as the first two people convicted under it.

The state's highest court ruled that the law had sufficient details of the crimes with which it was concerned and did not violate any federal or state protections against arbitrary prosecution.

By - 8/6/15 - 11:12 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a law that attempts to criminalize public falsehoods about political candidates violates the state constitution's free-speech protections. Read more.

By - 7/31/15 - 11:32 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a man who failed to win appointment as a Boston police cadet was so far down the candidate list - despite getting a really good score on a written test - he probably wouldn't have gotten appointed even if BPD hadn't given preferential treatment to several women candidates it wanted to hire to bring more women into the ranks. Read more.

By - 7/9/15 - 10:55 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Louis Costa deserves the chance to convince a judge he should have a chance at parole for the 1986 execution-style murder of two men in a North End park because he was only 16 at the time. Read more.

By - 7/8/15 - 11:35 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Town Meeting in Mendon had the right to bar a proposed strip club from serving liquor out of a fear the combination would mean criminals running riot through the streets of the quiet Milford suburb - but said a town bylaw was too broad and should be struck down.

The ruling actually comes as an opinion to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, which is considering a lawsuit by a company that sought to open a strip club in the Blackstone Valley town, only to have Town Meeting say, yeah, well, here are some studies that prove drinking and naked women inevitably lead to crime. Read more.

By - 6/25/15 - 11:25 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today reversed the assault-and-battery conviction of a Brockton man arrested after spanking his three-year-old daughter in view of two police detectives.

The court noted that corporal punishment "as an integral aspect of parental autonomy" remains widely accepted in American society and so in the absence of specific laws on the subject, "we must guard against the imposition of criminal sanctions for the use of parenting techniques still widely regarded as permissible and warranted." Read more.

By - 6/17/15 - 11:24 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Suffolk County prosecutors cannot yet force Christopher Kostka to provide a DNA sample that could bolster the case against his brother, Timothy, for the 2012 stabbing murder of Barbara Coyne in South Boston. Read more.

By - 5/29/15 - 11:11 am

In a ruling today on a land dispute in Templeton, the Supreme Judicial Court came close to overturning the idea that you can't sue the state without its permission, but pulled back because the justices figured it would be better for the legislature to hash it out. Read more.

By - 5/26/15 - 10:57 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a person charged with a crime while on probation in three different courts can only face punishment for a probation violation by one of them. Read more.

By - 5/18/15 - 10:56 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that people facing new drug trials because their evidence was handled by convicted state chemist Annie Dookhan cannot be brought up on more severe charges the second time around - and can't get sentences more severe than the ones originally imposed. Read more.

By - 5/14/15 - 11:44 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today overturned the first-degree murder conviction of a man a jury said shared the guilt for the two men shot to death at Ka-Carlos even though he did not pull the trigger. Read more.

By - 5/8/15 - 10:35 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for James Brescia, convicted for first-degree murder for the 2006 death of a Newton man his wife had been seeing.

The court agreed with Brescia's attorneys that symptoms from a mild stroke he suffered the night after his first day of testimony - the next day, under cross examination, he had problems understanding and answer questions - could have been interpreted by the jury as evasion, since jurors were not told about the stroke, and that that meant Brescia did not get a fair trial. Read more.

By - 5/7/15 - 10:49 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that two women seeking to formally adopt the son one of them bore with the help of a sperm donor don't have to give him a chance to object to legally adopt the baby.

The ruling at first might seem nonsensical, since the women are married and were married at the time of their son's birth last year, and both are listed as parents on his birth certificate, so why bother with adoption?

But as the court noted ... Read more.

By - 4/10/15 - 10:56 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today state law lets take-out owners prohibit tips and, as long as they prominently alert visitors to that, keep any of the money customers insist on giving anyway.

The ruling comes in the case of employees of Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Constantine Scrivanos, who owns 66 Dunkin' shops in eastern Massachusetts and who bans tipping in about two-thirds of those.

By - 3/4/15 - 3:41 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld an Everett resident's assault and battery conviction that was based in part on a DNA test that showed the blood on his sweatshirt belonged to the man he stabbed.

Manuel Arzola sought to overturn the conviction on the grounds the DNA test was the equivalent of a police search requiring a warrant, which police in Chelsea didn't get after arresting him.

By - 2/27/15 - 10:38 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today prosecutors cannot use most of the marijuana found in a man's minivan during a traffic stop in Quincy to prosecute him for possession with intent to distribute, because police didn't have the legal right to search the vehicle in the first place.

The ruling also applies to the man's cell phone, on which officers browsed messages they felt showed evidence the man was conducting drug deals.

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