Posts tagged "1107014"

Commonwealth v. White (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-070-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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     12‑P‑1463                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  TIMOTHY WHITE. No. 12‑P‑1463. Norfolk.     October 9, 2013.  ‑  June 23, 2014. Present:  Fecteau, Brown, & Hines, JJ.   Constitutional Law, Public trial, Jury.  Practice, Criminal, Public trial, Empanelment of jury, New trial.  Jury and Jurors.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April 15, 2003.   The cases were tried before Barbara A. Dortch-Okara, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on September 28, 2010, was heard by her.     Anne M. Thomas, Assistant Attorney General (Dean A. Mazzone, Assistant Attorney General, with her) for the Commonwealth. Rosemary Curran Scapicchio (Dennis Toomey with her) for the defendant.       HINES, J.  The defendant, Timothy White, was convicted after a jury trial in the Superior Court of trafficking in cocaine, G. L. c. 94C. § 32E(b); larceny over $ 250, G. L. c. 266, § 30(1); and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, G. L. c. 94C, § 40.[1]  He filed a motion for new trial claiming a violation of his right to a public trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and other alleged errors.  After an evidentiary hearing, the motion judge, who was also the trial judge, allowed the motion.  The judge ruled that the closure of the court room for the general questioning of the venire violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial and that the waiver doctrine did not apply to excuse the violation.  The Commonwealth filed this appeal, conceding the closure during the general questioning of the venire but arguing that it was de minimis and that, as such, it did not violate the defendant’s right to a public trial.  For the reasons explained below, we affirm. Background.  We summarize the facts as found by the motion judge, supplemented with uncontested evidence from the motion hearing to provide context.  See Commonwealth v. Moreau, 30 Mass. App. Ct. 677, 679 (1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1049 (1992); Commonwealth v. Johnson, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 336, 337 (2012).  The defendant, a former sergeant in the State police, was represented by Attorney Robert George, an experienced criminal defense attorney.  The indictments charged that the defendant stole drugs from the State police evidence room and sold them for profit.  Asserting that the indictments had attracted media attention, the defendant’s counsel requested individual voir dire of the prospective […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

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