Posts tagged "Calvaire"

Commonwealth v. Calvaire (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-010-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12084   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DONALD CALVAIRE.       Suffolk.     October 6, 2016. – January 11, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Incompetent Person, Criminal charges.  Practice, Criminal, Sentence, Dismissal, Competency to stand trial.  Constitutional Law, Equal protection of laws.  Due Process of Law, Substantive rights.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on January 29, 2016.   The case was reported by Cordy, J.     Barusch, Committee for Public Counsel Services (Beth L. Eisenberg also present) for the defendant. Darcy A. Jordan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.          BUDD, J.  Under G. L. c. 123, § 16 (f) (§ 16 [f]), a defendant who is found incompetent to stand trial is entitled to dismissal of the criminal charges against him or her at the point corresponding to one-half the maximum sentence the defendant could have received if convicted of the most serious crime with which he or she was charged.  We consider in this case how to calculate the date of dismissal when the most serious crime is within the concurrent jurisdiction of both the Superior Court Department and the District Court or Boston Municipal Court (BMC) Department, but the case is pending in the BMC.  We conclude that the basis for the calculation is the maximum sentence provided for in the statute, regardless of the court in which the charges are pending at the time of the calculation.  We also conclude that in this case, pursuant to § 16 (f), dismissal of the charge before the computed date may nevertheless be appropriate in the interest of justice. Background.  On July 3, 2012, a woman was stabbed with a pocket knife at the Ashmont station of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in the Dorchester section of Boston.  Two days later, the BMC issued a criminal complaint charging the defendant, who has a history of mental illness, with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 15A (b).  He has been in custody ever since, spending most of that time committed at Bridgewater State Hospital (Bridgewater).[1]  Since the complaint issued, the defendant has been competent to stand trial only intermittently.[2]  The Commonwealth made attempts to proceed to trial in the BMC during the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 11, 2017 at 8:19 pm

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