Posts tagged "1009414"

Aldrich, petitioner (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-094-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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, Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11515   ROBERT ALDRICH, petitioner.       June 4, 2014.       Habeas Corpus.  Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.       Robert Aldrich appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus or, in the alternative, for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.  We affirm.   Aldrich was charged with, among other offenses, unarmed burglary.  A jury trial proceeded in the Superior Court, after which Aldrich was convicted of various offenses.  The transcript as prepared by the court reporter states that when the jury delivered their verdict, the clerk asked the foreperson whether Aldrich was guilty of “armed burglary.”  The foreperson responded that Aldrich was “guilty as charged.”  Aldrich moved to vacate what he argued was an unlawful conviction of an uncharged offense and sentence thereon.  The Commonwealth responded with a motion to correct the record, arguing that the reference to “armed burglary” was merely a transcription error.  After a hearing, the trial judge allowed the Commonwealth’s motion and denied Aldrich’s motion.[1]  Aldrich’s petition ensued.     A writ of habeas corpus “cannot be employed as a substitute for ordinary appellate procedure.”  Sheriff of Suffolk County v. Pires, 438 Mass. 96, 99 (2002), quoting Crowell v. Commonwealth, 352 Mass. 288, 289 (1967).  A petition for the writ must be based on “grounds distinct from the issues at the indictment, trial, conviction, or sentencing stage.”  Glawson v. Commonwealth, 445 Mass. 1019, 1020 (2005), quoting Stewart, petitioner, 411 Mass. 566, 568 (1992).  Aldrich’s request is clearly based on a claimed error that occurred at the conviction stage and that can, if warranted, be remedied in the appellate process.  While Aldrich argues that there is an exception to this rule “where the court or magistrate by whose purported authority the imprisonment was imposed had no jurisdiction to impose it,” Crystal, petitioner, 330 Mass. 583, 591 (1953), it is not at all clear that this is the case here.  There is a dispute whether the transcript reference to “armed burglary” accurately reflects what was spoken in court.  The trial judge resolved that dispute against Aldrich.  On the record before her, the single justice was not compelled to conclude that the judge did so wrongly or that Aldrich’s conviction was beyond the Superior Court’s jurisdiction.  In these circumstances, there was no […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 5, 2014 at 12:13 am

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