Posts tagged "1010717"

Commonwealth v. George (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-107-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12173   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  RICHARD GEORGE.       Worcester.     December 8, 2016. – June 21, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Sex Offender.  Constitutional Law, Sex offender.  Due Process of Law, Sex offender, Substantive rights.  Evidence, Sex offender, Expert opinion, Relevancy and materiality.  Witness, Expert.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 11, 2013.   The case was tried before Beverly J. Cannone, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     David B. Hirsch for the defendant. Nathaniel R. Beaudoin, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          HINES, J.  After a jury trial in the Superior Court, the defendant, Richard George, was determined to be a sexually dangerous person (SDP) pursuant to G. L. c. 123A.  In accordance with the statute, the judge committed the defendant to the Massachusetts Treatment Center (treatment center) for an indeterminate period of from one day to life.  The defendant filed a timely appeal challenging the commitment on the grounds that (1) a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a constitutionally inadequate basis for commitment as an SDP; and (2) the judge erroneously admitted expert opinion testimony on the likelihood of reoffense and the results of the Static-99R risk assessment tool.  We allowed the defendant’s application for direct appellate review to clarify the relevance of an ASPD diagnosis in the sexual dangerousness calculus. We conclude that an ASPD diagnosis is a sufficient predicate for sexual dangerousness so long as other evidence establishes a nexus between that condition and the factors warranting confinement to a secure facility.  Also, we discern no error in the judge’s evidentiary rulings requiring reversal.  Therefore, we affirm the judgment and order for the defendant’s civil commitment to the treatment center as an SDP. Background.  1.  Pretrial proceedings.  In October, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition pursuant to G. L. c. 123A, § 12, seeking an adjudication that the defendant is an SDP.  In April, 2014, a Superior Court judge found probable cause to believe that the defendant is an SDP and committed him to the treatment center for examination and diagnosis.  Two qualified examiners[1] submitted reports, opining that the defendant is an SDP within the meaning of G. L. c. 123A, § 1.  The trial on the Commonwealth’s petition commenced in September, 2015. The trial.  […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 21, 2017 at 4:44 pm

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