Selected Reported Decisions
Commonwealth v. Jones, 471 Mass. 307 (2017)(reversing the defendant’s conviction for first degree murder holding that the trial judge erred in refusing to require the prosecutor to provide a race-neutral explanation for exercising a peremptory strike against an African-American prospective juror in violation of the defendant’s federal and state constitutional rights)
United States v. Pereira, 848 F.3d 17 (1st Cir. 2017)(reversing the defendant’s conviction for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting others to possess cocaine with intent to distribute in light of the prosecutor’s repeated improper questioning of the defendant on cross-examination which required him to comment on the veracity of the cooperating witnesses’s testimony)
In re Grand Jury Investigation, 470 Mass. 399 (2015) (vacating order authorizing Commonwealth to obtain client’s cell phone from his lawyers, who allegedly had it in their possession for investigative purposes).
United States v. Starks, 769 F.3d 83 (1st Cir. 2014) (vacating conviction and 210-month sentence and remanding for evidentiary hearing after finding that the defendant had standing to challenge the search of a rental car that he was driving, even though he was an unlicensed, unauthorized driver).
Commonwealth v. Robertson, 467 Mass. 371 (2014) (holding that the prosecution could not proceed against the defendant, who was charged with violating a criminal statute that punishes secret electronic surveillance of a person “who is nude or partially nude,” because his alleged ‘upskirting’ on the MBTA did not involve a person in a state of nudity and was therefore not covered by the charging statute).
Doe #205614 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, 466 Mass. 594 (2013) (vacating female offender’s sex offender registry classification, holding that it was an abuse of discretion for the Sex Offender Registry Board to refuse to consider recent and relevant scientific research regarding the relevance of female gender to the assessment of her risk of reoffense merely because such research was not contemplated by SORB’s outdated regulations).
Commonwealth v. Woodbine, 461 Mass. 720 (2012) (reversing the defendant’s conviction for first degree murder holding that the trial judge erroneously allowed a police officer to testify to the contents of the defendant’s unrecorded statements without first determining whether it reflected the officer’s present memory). [The oral argument may be viewed here.]
Commonwealth v. Toolan, 460 Mass. 452 (2011) (in a murder trial that took place in a small, interconnected community and garnered extensive negative publicity, the judge’s questioning of potential jurors failed to ensure that those seated had not been exposed to or biased by the publicity or local attitudes, so the first-degree murder conviction was reversed).[The oral argument may be viewed here.]
Commonwealth v. Porro, 74 Mass.App.Ct. 676 (2009) (instructional error on charge of aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon required reversal of conviction on lesser-included offense of assault by means of dangerous weapon).
Commonwealth v. Boe, 73 Mass. App. Ct. 647 (2009) (expungement, rather than sealing, was the appropriate remedy even though the charge against defendant was neither fictitious nor false, because the complaint was fundamentally defective in assuming that the female defendant, as owner of the vehicle involved in the alleged complaint, was also the operator of the car, even though the victim’s report stated that the operator was male.)
Commonwealth v. Wilson, 72 Mass. App. Ct. 416 (2008) (a complaint charging that the defendant did assault and beat the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was void, requiring reversal of the conviction on that complaint, because a human victim is an essential element of the crime).
United States v. Wright, 485 F.3d 45 (1st Cir. 2007) (reversing denial of motion to suppress a gun as evidence in a federal firearm possession case).
Commonwealth v. Garcia, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 167 (2006) (affirming the grant of a new trial to a defendant convicted of three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child where defense counsel had failed to interview any witnesses prior to trial).
Commonwealth v. Kincaid, 444 Mass. 381 (2005) (grant of new trial to aggravated rape defendant based on deliberating jury’s exposure to prejudicial, extraneous information affirmed)
Goldings v. Winn, 383 F.3d 17 (1st Cir. 2004) (striking down Attorney General Ashcroft’s unlawful policy of restricting the ability of federal prisoners to serve up to the last six months of their sentences at halfway houses).
Commonwealth v. Johnson, 60 Mass. App. Ct. 243 (2003) (convictions for mayhem and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon reversed due to improper admission of hearsay evidence).
Commonwealth v. Parkes, 53 Mass. App. Ct. 815 (2002) (conviction for lewd and lascivious conduct reversed due to improper admission of hearsay evidence).
Commonwealth v. Crawford, 429 Mass. 60 (1999) (conviction for first degree murder reversed due to improper exclusion of expert testimony).
Commonwealth v. Williams, 428 Mass. 383 (1998) (conviction for first degree murder reversed due to erroneous jury instructions).
Commonwealth v. Magraw, 426 Mass. 589 (1998) (conviction for first degree murder reversed due to multiple evidentiary errors).
Commonwealth v. Roche, 44 Mass. App. Ct. 372 (1998) (convictions for attempted murder and other charges reversed due to trial judge’s refusal to permit client to challenge seating of juror).
United States v. Indelicato, 97 F.3d 627 (1st Cir. 1996) (conviction for being a felon-in-possession of a firearm reversed on grounds that client’s prior state conviction didn’t qualify as a felony).
United States v. Fontana, 50 F.3d 86 (1st Cir. 1995) (resentencing of client ordered due to sentencing judge’s possible misuse of information provided pursuant to plea agreement).
Commonwealth v. Hunter, 416 Mass. 831 (1994) (conviction for first degree murder reversed due to trial court’s refusal to hold hearing on voluntariness of client’s statements).
United States v. Loder, 23 F.3d 586 (1994) (conviction for aiding-and-abetting mail fraud reversed due to insufficiency of evidence).
Commonwealth v. Adams, 416 Mass. 55 (1993) (conviction for first degree murder reversed due to erroneous admission of co-defendant’s statement).
Commonwealth v. Francis, 411 Mass. 579 (1992) (grant of new trial in first degree murder case due to erroneous jury instructions affirmed).
Commonwealth v. Wigfall, 32 Mass. App. Ct. 582 (1992) (suppression of evidence in drug case due to improper warrantless search of apartment affirmed).
Commonwealth v. Skinner, 408 Mass. 88 (1990) (conviction for first degree murder reversed due to erroneous jury instructions).
Commonwealth v. Dias, 405 Mass. 301 (1989) (conviction for first degree murder reversed on the grounds that a severance was required).