Posts tagged "1005313"

Commonwealth v. Butler (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-053-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11073   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  REGINALD BUTLER.       Suffolk.     December 3, 2012.  ‑  March 26, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Constitutional Law, Speedy trial, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Criminal, Speedy trial, Delay in commencement of prosecution, Assistance of counsel.     Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 23, 1999.   A motion for a new trial, filed on June 26, 2008, was heard by Margaret R. Hinkle, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Michael J. Fellows for the defendant. Joseph M. Ditkoff, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       SPINA, J.  This case presents the central questions for purposes of a defendant’s right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution or art. 11 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights:  (1) when the speedy trial clock starts, and (2) whether the speedy trial clock “resumes” or “resets” when, after the right to a speedy trial attached, the Commonwealth dismisses charges and then reinstates the charges at a later date.  We conclude, pursuant to art. 11 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, that (1) the speedy trial clock starts when a Massachusetts criminal complaint issues, and (2) the speedy trial clock “resumes” when the Commonwealth reinstates charges following dismissal. After the Appeals Court concluded that the delay in bringing the defendant to trial did not violate Mass. R. Crim. P. 36, 378 Mass. 909 (1979), and affirmed the defendant’s rape conviction, see Commonwealth v. Butler, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 658, 661, 667 (2007) (Butler I), the defendant filed a motion for a new trial alleging that appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to argue to the Appeals Court that the defendant’s motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds should have been allowed under the speedy trial provisions of the State or Federal Constitutions.  See id. at 659, n. 2.  The motion for a new trial was denied, and the Appeals Court affirmed.  See Commonwealth v. Butler, 79 Mass. App. Ct. 751, 759 (2011) (Butler II).  We granted the defendant’s application for further appellate review.  Like the Appeals Court, we conclude that the defendant was not denied the effective […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 27, 2013 at 12:16 am

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