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Commonwealth v. Wade (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-111-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11913   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ROBERT D. WADE.       Plymouth.     January 11, 2016. – July 29, 2016.   Present:  Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.[1]       Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Evidence, Scientific test.  Practice, Criminal, Postconviction relief, Waiver, Capital case.  Statute, Construction.  Witness, Privilege.  Attorney at Law, Attorney-client relationship.  Homicide.  Felony-Murder Rule.  Rape.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 6, 1993.   Following review by this court, 428 Mass. 147 (1998), and 467 Mass. 496 (2014), a motion for deoxyribonucleic acid testing, which had been filed on March 26, 2012, and which was supplemented on April 30, 2014, was heard by Charles J. Hely, J.   A request for leave to appeal was allowed by Spina, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk.     Janet H. Pumphrey for the defendant. Mary Lee, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Ira L. Gant, Stephanie Roberts Hartung, & David Lewis for Committee for Public Counsel Services Innocence Program & others. Michael D. Ricciuti, Kathleen D. Parker, & Patrick C. McCooe for Boston Bar Association. Martin W. Healy for Massachusetts Bar Association. Stanley L. Donald, pro se. Matthew M. Burke, Dara A. Reppucci, Hillel Nadler, Shivan Sarin, & David Lewis for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.     DUFFLY, J.  This case requires us to decide whether the petitioner, Robert Wade, who filed a motion in the Superior Court seeking postconviction testing of biological material pursuant to G. L. c. 278A (“An Act providing access to forensic and scientific analysis”) (act), see St. 2012, c. 38, has satisfied the requirements of the act and therefore is entitled to the testing he seeks. The Legislature enacted G. L. c. 278A to create a process “separate from the trial and any subsequent proceedings challenging an underlying conviction, that permits forensic and scientific analysis of evidence or biological material, the results of which could support a motion for a new trial.”  Commonwealth v. Clark, 472 Mass. 120, 121-122 (2015).  The Legislature’s stated purpose in enacting G. L. c. 278A was “to remedy the injustice of wrongful convictions of factually innocent persons by allowing access to analyses of biological material with newer forensic and scientific techniques . . . [to] provide a more reliable basis for establishing a factually correct verdict than the evidence available at the time […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 1, 2016 at 12:20 am

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