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By adamg - 7/26/11 - 11:18 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today told Luis Melendez-Diaz his precedent-setting case in Boston came too late to help him try to clean his record of another drug conviction on the South Shore.

In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled Melendez-Diaz's right to confront his accusers had been violated in his 2001 conviction in Boston because his lawyer could not cross-examine the lab technician who signed a certificate that the substance found in the car in which he was a passenger was cocaine.

By adamg - 2/10/11 - 7:17 pm

A Suffolk Superior Court jury today found Luis Melendez-Diaz not guilty of cocaine-possession charges - ten years after his initial conviction for an incident at the South Bay mall, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Melendez-Diaz appealed his initial conviction, based in part on the argument he had been deprived of his constitutional right to confront his accusers because his lawyer was not allowed to call the technician who had certified the material found in the car in which he was riding was cocaine.

By adamg - 12/28/10 - 12:59 pm

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overturned the drug convictions of two Somerville brothers who acknowledged they were hearty consumers of pot, cocaine and Ecstasy because a key part of the case against them involved certificates of authenticity on the drugs found in their apartment.

By adamg - 10/4/10 - 11:02 am

A Watertown man today became the latest convicted drug dealer to have his verdict overturned because of a Supreme Court ruling that defense lawyers must be allowed to cross-examine experts who certify that what police found was a particular type of drug or weapon.

By adamg - 3/26/10 - 11:36 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today set aside two more drug convictions under a Supreme Court decision last year that Massachusetts drug suspects have the right to ask questions of technicians hired to determine the nature of substances police seize from them.

By adamg - 2/3/10 - 7:14 pm

File under: Slowly grinding wheels of justice? Several months after the US Supreme Court ruled evidence used against a Boston man was unconstitutional - and after Massachusetts courts began throwing out convictions based on that ruling - the man has finally had his own conviction overturned.

By adamg - 1/6/10 - 1:50 pm

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports the court will once again take up the issue of certifications by lab technicians being introduced into court without testimony by the technicians themselves.

By adamg - 12/30/09 - 11:13 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today reversed a man's conviction on charges of trafficking in cocaine and heroin because his lawyer didn't have a chance to cross-examine the expert who certified the bag he allegedly threw out a car window contained enough of the two drugs to warrant serious jail time.

By adamg - 12/8/09 - 11:16 am

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overturned a Roxbury man's conviction for crack trafficking because prosecutors relied on a certificate that the substance found in his apartment was a large amount of crack, rather than producing an expert who could be cross-examined.

By adamg - 11/17/09 - 10:43 am

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.

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