Posts tagged "1113816"

Santana v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-138-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   15-P-275                                        Appeals Court   TEMISTOCLES OMAR SANTANA  vs.  COMMONWEALTH.     No. 15-P-275.   Essex.     January 8, 2016. – September 30, 2016.   Present:  Trainor, Agnes, & Massing, JJ.     Erroneous Conviction.  Commonwealth, Claim against.  Practice, Civil, Proceeding against Commonwealth, Summary judgment, Instructions to jury.  Rape.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 18, 2012.   The case was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J., on motions for summary judgment.     William S. Smith (Jennifer H. O’Brien with him) for the plaintiff. Jennifer H. Flynn, Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth.     AGNES, J.  The question before us is whether the plaintiff, Temistocles Omar Santana, is eligible to bring a claim for relief under the erroneous conviction statute, G. L. c. 258D, because his conviction was reversed due to the effect of an improper jury instruction.[1]  The plaintiff contends that he is eligible to bring such a claim because he was granted judicial relief “on grounds which tend to establish the [plaintiff’s] innocence.”  G. L. c. 258D, § 1(B)(ii).  We disagree, and affirm the judgment that entered on the parties’ on cross motions for summary judgment. Background.  In 2009, the plaintiff and another (the codefendant) were each indicted as youthful offenders on three indictments charging aggravated rape by joint venture and one indictment of assault with intent to commit rape.[2]  The cases were tried together.  The trial judge instructed the jury on the lesser included offenses of rape on each of the three charges of aggravated rape.  The jury returned a single verdict of guilty of rape against the plaintiff on the count charging him as a joint venturer in which it was alleged that the crime was committed by means of the codefendant’s penis.[3]  The plaintiff was acquitted on all other charges.  The plaintiff was sentenced to a term of four to six years in State prison.  The plaintiff was released from prison in April, 2011, as the result of a decision by a panel of this court which determined that the judge should not have instructed the jury on the lesser included offense of rape, and that “no rational view of the evidence” supported the jury’s verdict that the plaintiff was guilty of rape, but not aggravated rape.[4] Discussion.   The erroneous conviction statute, G. L. c. 258D, §§ 1-9, represents a limited waiver of the Commonwealth’s sovereign […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm

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