Posts tagged "Camblin"

Commonwealth v. Camblin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-194-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11774   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KIRK P. CAMBLIN.       Middlesex.     September 7, 2017. – December 8, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Motor Vehicle, Operating under the influence.  Evidence, Breathalyzer test, Scientific test.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Ayer Division of the District Court Department on April 28, 2008.   Following review by this court, 471 Mass. 639 (2015), a motion to exclude evidence as scientifically unreliable was heard by Mark A. Sullivan, J.     Andrew W. Piltser Cowan for the defendant. Casey E. Silvia, Assistant District Attorney (Cyrus Y. Chung & Laura S. Miller, Assistant District Attorneys, also present) for the Commonwealth.     Gaziano, J.  In Commonwealth v. Camblin, 471 Mass. 639, 640, 651 (2015) (Camblin I), we remanded this case to the District Court to conduct a hearing on the scientific reliability of a particular model of breathalyzer, the Alcotest 7110 MK III-C (Alcotest), while retaining jurisdiction of the case.  After conducting a Daubert–Lanigan hearing, a District Court judge found that the Alcotest was capable of producing scientifically reliable breath test results, and denied the defendant’s motion to exclude this evidence at his trial for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.  See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Daubert); Commonwealth v. Lanigan, 419 Mass. 15 (1994).  The judge returned his findings to this court, and both sides filed supplemental briefing, prior to renewed oral argument before us.  The defendant now contends that the judge abused his discretion in finding that the Alcotest satisfies the Daubert–Lanigan standard for the admissibility of scientific evidence.  We conclude that there was no abuse of discretion and affirm the denial of the defendant’s motion to exclude the Alcotest results. Background.  a.  Prior proceedings.  In 2008, a District Court complaint issued charging the defendant with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor (OUI), in violation of G. L. c. 90, § 24 (1) (a) (1).  Before trial, the defendant moved to exclude admission of breath test evidence generated by the Alcotest; he argued that errors in the device’s computer source code, and other deficiencies, rendered its results unreliable.[1]  A District Court judge denied the defendant’s motion without conducting a Daubert–Lanigan hearing.  The judge determined that because the Alcotest utilizes infrared spectroscopy technology, and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 8, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Camblin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-096-15)

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-11774   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KIRK P. CAMBLIN.       Middlesex.     February 5, 2015. – June 12, 2015. Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Motor Vehicle, Operating under the influence.  Evidence, Breathalyzer test, Scientific test.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Ayer Division of the District Court Department on April 28, 2008.   A pretrial motion to exclude evidence as scientifically unreliable was considered by Mark A. Sullivan, J., and a motion for reconsideration was considered by him; and the case was tried before Peter J. Kilmartin, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     John Fennel for the defendant. Jamie Michael Charles, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Evan M. Levow, of New Jersey, & Gregory D. Oberhauser, for DUI Defense Lawyers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     BOTSFORD, J.  In 2013, the defendant, Kirk P. Camblin, was convicted in the District Court of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor (OUI) on theories that alcohol affected his ability to drive safely and that he operated the vehicle with a blood alcohol percentage of 0.08 or greater.[1]  Before trial, he, along with sixty-one other defendants in other OUI cases pending in the District Court, moved to exclude admission of breath test evidence derived from the use of a particular model of breathalyzer, the Alcotest 7110 MK III-C (Alcotest), on the basis that errors in the Alcotest’s source code as well as other deficiencies rendered the breath test results produced by the Alcotest unreliable.  The judge specially assigned to these cases denied the motion without a hearing, evidentiary or otherwise.  We conclude that because breath test evidence, at its core, is scientific evidence, the reliability of the Alcotest breath test result had to be established before evidence of it could be admitted, see Commonwealth v. Lanigan, 419 Mass. 15, 25-26 (1994), and, in this case, a hearing on and substantive consideration of the defendant’s challenges to that reliability were required.  Because no such hearing was held and the Alcotest breath test result of 0.16 was before the jury as evidence, we vacate the judge’s order denying the motion to exclude the breathalyzer evidence, remand the case to the District Court for a hearing on that motion, and retain jurisdiction […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,