Posts tagged "1020414"

Commonwealth v. Scott (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-204-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11303   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ROBERT SCOTT.[1] Suffolk.     September 5, 2014. – December 26, 2014.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Evidence, Third-party culprit.  Constitutional Law, Fair trial.  Due Process of Law, Fair trial.  Fair Trial.  Jury and Jurors.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Fair trial, Argument by prosecutor, Jury and jurors, Substitution of alternate juror, Question by jury, Instructions to jury.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on December 19, 2008.   The case was tried before Peter M. Lauriat, J.     Ruth Greenberg for the defendant. Paul B. Linn, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     LENK, J.  In December, 1984, a young woman was found dead, her body badly beaten, in a vacant lot in Boston.  Twenty-three years later, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted from samples taken from the victim’s body and clothing soon after her death and run through a national computerized database.  A match was found with the defendant’s DNA.  The defendant was tried for murder in the first degree.  His defense at trial was that he had had consensual sex with the victim but had not been the killer.  The jury returned a verdict of guilty on theories of premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder.  The defendant appeals from his conviction. The defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict, and that other errors in the proceedings require a new trial.  These include the judge’s exclusion of evidence purported, by the defendant, to show that police had investigated the case inadequately or that the crime might have been committed by a third party; the prosecutor’s remarks, in his closing argument, that there had been no evidence that the victim had engaged in “risky behavior”; and the judge’s instruction to the jury, after one original juror had been discharged, that an alternate juror should get “up to speed” about a question that had been posed by the jury and answered by the judge. Having reviewed the entire record pursuant to G. L. c. 278, § 33E, we discern no error requiring reversal, and no cause to exercise our authority to reduce the defendant’s conviction to a lesser degree of guilt or to order a new trial. 1.  Facts.  We summarize the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain details for later […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

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