Hey, there! Log in / Register

Appeals court reverses another conviction because nobody appeared in court to testify man's gun was really a gun

For the fourth time in recent weeks, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has reversed a gun-possession conviction because prosecutors did not have a "ballistician" testify that the device the defendant was charged with possessing was actually a gun that could be fired.

As in the earlier cases, the court ruled this violated the defendant's constitutional right to confront an accuser.

In the case against Daniel Hollister in Greenfield District Court, a Franklin County assistant district attorney produced a certificate from a ballistics expert that the loaded gun found in his truck's glove compartment was, in fact, a gun for which he did not have a license.

However, the court agreed with Hollister's lawyer he should have had the opportunity to question the expert on whether the device was really "a pistol, revolver or other weapon of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged and of which the length of the barrel or barrels is less than 16 inches or 18 inches in the case of a shotgun as originally manufactured."

Complete ruling.

Ad:

Comments

Nice to know Woody Allen is running our court system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UHOgkDbVqc

up
Voting closed 0

You beat me to it!

up
Voting closed 0

such as why pedophiles get a free pass around here.

-----------------------------------------
who and the what now?

up
Voting closed 0

Well, if you don't like these outcomes, you have to blame that evil, right-wing, cop-loving, defendant-hating SCOTUS justice Antonin Scalia. Oh, wait a minute...

It's SCOTUS's decision in the recent Massachusetts v. Melendez(sp?) case that requires lab techs, etc. to be present at trial that's causing this.

up
Voting closed 0

argued Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts in front of the Supreme Course herself. According to some, her performance that day not do justice to the Commonwealth's case. Link:

Justice Anthony Kennedy asked Coakley to explain why California, where lab technicians do take the stand, had not experienced such a burden. She responded that California was one of the 35 states supporting Massachusetts in the case. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts, in an awkward moment, had to point out later that California was not one of the 35.

Pressed by Kennedy, Coakley said she had no substantive knowledge of California’s experience. “I don’t have enough information about the way California works or doesn’t work,’’ she said.

That prompted Justice John Paul Stevens to interject, “Well, it seems to me it’s a very important point.’’

In addition, she had trouble dealing with two other justices’ questions over distinctions between crime lab reports and eyewitness testimony, and, at one point, Kennedy pounced when Coakley began to respond to a question. “That’s a nonanswer,’’ he interrupted, with clear irritation.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, Our Martha really did humiliate herself in front of the Supreme Court.

up
Voting closed 0

She not only doesn't understand the existance of California, her "I wouldn't have voted yes on that" grandstand means that she either needs some school house rock to understand how the legislature works, or thinks we are all stupid.

She also massively humiliated herself and MA with the whole "sinister device" quote on the Mooninites having "wires and batteries", now of youtube fame.

She's a local yokel and doesn't have an opinion that isn't pollster tested. I'm not a big Capuano booster, but I'm at least confident that he knows his job and won't make us all look stupid for electing him.

up
Voting closed 0

He was let off by a rule that exists to protect us against wrongful prosecution. While it may sometimes seem like a ridiculous procedural thing, it's an important part of the constitutional protections that we all enjoy.

up
Voting closed 0