A man convicted of a 2001 murder in a Dorchester crack house will get to make the case why a woman's statement that casts doubt on the testimony of the only witness against him should be enough for a new trial, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court spent considerable time considering a Facebook photo of Michael Walters holding a gun and another Facebook post in which he vowed, "Make no mistake of my will to succeed in bringing you two idiots [his ex and her current boyfriend] to justice" and concluded Walters may not have actually been threatening to shoot them, so he shouldn't have been convicted of stalking.
However, the court also upheld his convictions for criminal harassment, criminal violation of a domestic restraining order and perjury. Read more.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a nearly $3-million wrongful-death against Dr. Ivan Liang, who gave a 23-year-old man with a sort throat, a cough and pain on breathing a pain reliever and then sent him home - where he was found dead the next day of viral myocarditis.
In its ruling, the state's highest court also ruled it's one thing for hypochondriacs to use Google searches on their symptoms to confirm their worst fears. It's quite another for lawyers to use the results of these searches to question doctors in medical-malpractice suits, the court said.
If a retired Army officer wants to continue suing the state because Barack Obama was on the 2012 presidential ballot, he's going to have to pay court fees on his own, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today. Read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.