Blog Posts in February, 2012

  • Miranda Rights in Prison Are No Lock

    Howes, Warden v. Fields regarding custodial interrogation will have limited impact since it specifically relates to questioning of incarcerated inmates, it is nonetheless instructive as to the High Court’s continued intransience/resistance in expanding its seminal holding in Miranda v. Arizona . In Fields , SCOTUS essentially found "insufficient custody" for Miranda purposes where the ...
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  • Boston Globe: Ex-probation chief, 2 aides indicted in hiring scandal

    Accused of rigging selection process for job applicants By Andrea Estes and Thomas Farragher | GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 24, 2012 US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced criminal indictments Friday against former probation commissioner John J. O’Brien and two former top lieutenants on racketeering, conspiracy, and mail fraud charges, contending that the trio ran the troubled 1,800-employee state agency ...
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  • DNA Access Laws – A Step in the Right Direction

    As a criminal defense attorney who often finds himself in court challenging DNA test results offered into evidence by the government, I enthusiastically applaud the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimous decision to pass Senate Bill S.197 which allows potentially innocent prison inmates post-conviction access to DNA evidence and testing. Amazingly, until last week, Massachusetts was one ...
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  • Dazed & Confused by the SJC – Possession vs. Possession with Intent to Distribute

    I agree there is a seeming disconnect between the passage of a 2008 referendum by Massachusetts voters in 2008 that made possessing less than an ounce of marijuana a civil violation and yesterday’s opinion by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in Commonwealth v. Keefner, in which the SJC ruled that "the crime of possession with intent to distribute applies to any amount of marijuana" ...
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  • Guilty But Insane? Must Be An Election Year…

    If I didn’t know better I might suggest that the state legislators in Massachusetts who are now pushing a bill that would bar accused murderers from pleading, and/or being found "not guilty by reason of insanity" should also be the ones having their heads examined. However, I know this proposed bill is nothing less than pandering to voters during an election year because, after all, there isn’t ...
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  • I Can Always Use the Business, But if the Pats Win, Please Try to Get Along!

    I’m not sure which is a sadder commentary on the current state of affairs: that the Boston Police Department had to issue a public warning to the local citizenry to behave in the event of a New England Patriots Super Bowl win on Sunday (or even, God forbid, a loss), or that the City of Boston has already declared the public area around North Station and Kenmore Square to be off limits to post-game ...
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