Posts tagged "1003414"

Commonwealth v. Gardner (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-034-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11470   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  REGINALD A. GARDNER.     Suffolk.     October 10, 2013.  ‑  March 5, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.         Controlled Substances.  Constitutional Law, Conduct of government agents.  Due Process of Law, Disclosure of evidence, Presumption.  Evidence, Certificate of drug analysis, Exculpatory, Disclosure of evidence, Presumptions and burden of proof.  Practice, Criminal, Dismissal, Disclosure of evidence, Conduct of government agents, Presumptions and burden of proof.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on October 26, 2011.   A motion to dismiss, filed on December 7, 2012, was heard by Franco J. Gobourne, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Vincent DeMore, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Rebecca A. Jacobstein for the defendant.     SPINA, J.  In June, 2011, allegations of misconduct at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston surfaced regarding work performed by Annie Dookhan, a chemist who had been employed in the forensic drug laboratory (Hinton drug lab) since November, 2003.  Based on investigations conducted by the Department of Public Health and the State police, Dookhan was indicted on multiple counts of evidence tampering and obstruction of justice, as well as on at least one count of perjury and one count of falsely claiming to hold a graduate degree, all relating to her handling and testing of samples at the Hinton drug lab.  See Commonwealth v. Scott, ante    ,    (2014); Commonwealth v. Charles, 466 Mass. 63, 64 (2013).  Dookhan resigned from her position, effective March 9, 2012, and the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute was closed on August 30, 2012.  The present case is one of several that has arisen as a consequence of the testing of drug evidence by Dookhan at that facility.[1]   On October 26, 2011, a criminal complaint issued from the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department charging the defendant, Reginald A. Gardner, with distribution of a class B controlled substance (“crack” cocaine), G. L. c. 94C, § 32A (a); possession of a class B controlled substance with intent to distribute, G. L. c. 94C, § 32A (a); and commission of each of these offenses within a school zone, G. L. c. 94C, § 32J.  The defendant filed a […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 7, 2014 at 2:48 am

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