201607.27
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FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE ALONE IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A FINDING OF GUILT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT IF THE FINGERPRINT WAS FOUND IN AN AREA GENERALLY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC . . . OR IS IT?

In Commonwealth v. French (2015), an Appeals Court case briefed and argued by a friend and colleague of mine, the Defendant’s criminal conviction by a District Court judge of breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a felony, and larceny of property over $250, was upheld by the Massachusetts Appeals Court,…

201607.22
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SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT DOES AWAY WITH DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRETRIAL EFFORTS TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE ON CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS, AND PRETRIAL EFFORTS TO SUPPRESS ON NON-CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS

Commonwealth v. Grady (2016), involved a State Police arrest for operating under the influence (OUI).  After the arrest, the State Police searched the defendant’s vehicle and discovered, inside a container, certain substances that they suspected were contraband. The suspected illegal drugs were sent to the State Police crime laboratory for analysis, including weighing and identifying…

201607.05
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POLICE MUST EXPLAIN FACTUAL BASIS FOR BELIEF THAT A VEHICLE IS SPEEDING – A “HUNCH” IS NOT ENOUGH

The Supreme Judicial Court recently concluded that where a criminal defendant challenges the legality of a traffic stop for speeding, the police must articulate specific facts that support the conclusion that the defendant’s speed was greater that reasonable. In the 2016 case of Commonwealth v. Teixeira-Furtado, the police stopped a car for speeding.  At about…