Posts tagged "1003514"

Commonwealth v. Rodriguez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-035-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11462   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  GEORDANO RODRIGUEZ.     March 5, 2014.     Controlled Substances.  Constitutional Law, Plea, Conduct of government agents.  Due Process of Law, Plea, Disclosure of evidence, Presumption.  Practice, Criminal, Admission to sufficient facts to warrant finding, Plea, Conduct of government agents, Disclosure of evidence, Presumptions and burden of proof.  Evidence, Guilty plea, Certificate of drug analysis, Disclosure of evidence, Exculpatory, Presumptions and burden of proof.       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 Hinton drug lab 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.  We decide this appeal on the basis of our opinion today in Scott.[1]     A criminal complaint issued from the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department charging the defendant, Geordano Rodriguez, with possession with intent to distribute a class A controlled substance (heroin), G. L. c. 94C, § 32 (a) (count I); commission of this offense within a school zone, G. L. c. 94C, § 32J (count II); and possession of a class D controlled substance (marijuana), G. L. c. 94C, § 34 (count III).  The substances in the four plastic bags seized from the defendant were sent to the Hinton drug lab for testing, and they were determined to contain 5.19 grams of heroin.  The first signature on the certificate of drug analysis, on the line labeled “Assistant Analysts,” was that of Dookhan.  On January 10, 2006, the defendant tendered an admission to sufficient facts to warrant findings of guilty on counts I and III, conditioned on specific […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 6, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Rodriguez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-035-14)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11462   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  GEORDANO RODRIGUEZ.     March 5, 2014.     Controlled Substances.  Constitutional Law, Plea, Conduct of government agents.  Due Process of Law, Plea, Disclosure of evidence, Presumption.  Practice, Criminal, Admission to sufficient facts to warrant finding, Plea, Conduct of government agents, Disclosure of evidence, Presumptions and burden of proof.  Evidence, Guilty plea, Certificate of drug analysis, Disclosure of evidence, Exculpatory, Presumptions and burden of proof.       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 Hinton drug lab 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.  We decide this appeal on the basis of our opinion today in Scott.[1]     A criminal complaint issued from the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department charging the defendant, Geordano Rodriguez, with possession with intent to distribute a class A controlled substance (heroin), G. L. c. 94C, § 32 (a) (count I); commission of this offense within a school zone, G. L. c. 94C, § 32J (count II); and possession of a class D controlled substance (marijuana), G. L. c. 94C, § 34 (count III).  The substances in the four plastic bags seized from the defendant were sent to the Hinton drug lab for testing, and they were determined to contain 5.19 grams of heroin.  The first signature on the certificate of drug analysis, on the line labeled “Assistant Analysts,” was that of Dookhan.  On January 10, 2006, the defendant tendered an admission to sufficient facts to warrant findings of guilty on counts I and III, conditioned on specific […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,