Posts tagged "Bukin"

Commonwealth v. Bukin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-047-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;     SJC‑11306   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH L. BUKIN.       Plymouth.     November 7, 2013.  ‑  March 14, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Practice, Criminal, Revocation of probation, Hearsay.  Due Process of Law, Probation revocation.  Evidence, Hearsay.  District Court Rules for Probation Violation Proceedings.  Constitutional Law, Separation of powers.       Complaints received and sworn to in the Brockton Division of the District Court Department on December 27, 2010, and May 23, 2011.   A proceeding for revocation of probation was heard by Paul C. Dawley, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Jane Larmon White, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant. Carolyn A. Burbine, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       LENK, J.  While the defendant was serving a period of probation for unrelated convictions, probable cause was found to believe that he had violated the conditions of his probation by allegedly committing new criminal offenses.  At the defendant’s subsequent probation revocation hearing, the sole evidence against the defendant was hearsay testimony presented by two police officers indicating that he had committed certain sex offenses against two relatives.  Relying upon hearsay evidence that he determined to be substantially reliable and trustworthy, and finding that good cause thus existed for proceeding without a witness having personal knowledge of the evidence presented, a District Court judge concluded that the defendant had violated the conditions of his probation, revoked his probation, and ordered him incarcerated.  The defendant appealed, arguing that the hearing did not comport with due process.   More specifically, the defendant claims, first, that the hearsay testimony on which the judge solely relied was not substantially reliable and trustworthy and, consequently, that such evidence was insufficient to permit a finding that the defendant had violated the conditions of his probation.  Second, because the judge made no separate finding as to good cause for proceeding without a witness with personal knowledge of the evidence presented, as Rule 6(b) of the District Court Rules for Probation Violation Proceedings, at 94 (LexisNexis 2012–2013) (rule 6[b]) on its face requires, the defendant maintains that he was denied due process on this basis as well.  Finally, he asserts that, insofar as the district attorney’s office is within the executive branch of government while the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

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