Posts tagged "1013613"

Commonwealth v. Issa (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-136-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11174   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  SOULEYMANE YACOUBA ISSA.[1] Middlesex.     January 11, 2013.  ‑  July 18, 2013. Present:  Spina, Botsford, Gants, & Duffly, JJ.   Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Jury and jurors, Empanelment of jury, Challenge to jurors, Reciprocal discovery, Instructions to jury, Voluntariness of statement, Argument by prosecutor, Capital case.  Constitutional Law, Jury, Voluntariness of statement.  Jury and Jurors.  Evidence, Exculpatory, Credibility of witness, Authentication.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 28, 2009.   The case was heard by Bruce R. Henry, J.     Robert L. Sheketoff for the defendant. Anne Pogue Donohue, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       GANTS, J.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on a theory of deliberate premeditation, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 1, for the killing of Maryse Antoine (victim), the mother of his young daughter.[2]  The defendant raises four issues on appeal.  First, he claims that the trial judge erred in allowing the prosecutor to exercise a peremptory challenge of the only African-American male who remained in the venire without determining that the prosecutor had a bona fide group-neutral reason for the challenge, and thereby denied him his State and Federal constitutional rights to equal protection and a fair and impartial jury.  Second, he contends that the judge’s sanctions and jury instructions, which were crafted in response to defense counsel’s violation of an order of reciprocal discovery, denied him his State and Federal constitutional rights to a fair trial.  Third, he maintains that the judge erred in failing to provide the jury with the instruction required in Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, 442 Mass. 423, 447-448 (2004), regarding his unrecorded interview with the police that followed his voluntary arrival at the police station a few hours after the victim’s body was discovered.  Fourth, the defendant claims that the prosecutor made various improper and prejudicial statements in her closing argument.  For the reasons detailed below, we affirm the conviction and, after a complete review of the record, decline to exercise our plenary authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to order a new trial or reduce the murder conviction to a lesser degree of guilt. Background.  We summarize the evidence supporting the conviction, reserving certain details of the trial for our discussion of the alleged errors. The defendant and the victim […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm

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