Posts tagged "Griffin"

Commonwealth v. Griffin (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-175-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11524   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KRISTOPHER GRIFFIN.       Bristol.     April 8, 2016. – November 4, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Duffly, & Hines, JJ.[1]     Homicide.  Home Invasion.  Insanity.  Mental Health.  Evidence, Sanity.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Assistance of counsel, Opening statement, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 28, 2009.   The cases were tried before E. Susan Garsh, J.     Neil L. Fishman for the defendant. Yul-mi Cho, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, C.J.  In the late evening or early morning of July 23 and 24, 2009, the defendant broke into the house where his six year old daughter lived with the defendant’s former girl friend and slit his daughter’s throat, causing her death.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 1, and of home invasion, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 18C.[2]  At trial, the defendant did not contest that he had killed the victim, but pursued a defense that he was not criminally responsible at the time of the killing. The defendant presents four claims on appeal.  First, he contends that the evidence at trial was insufficient as a matter of law to permit a rational jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that he was criminally responsible at the time of the killing.  Second, he claims that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel by admitting in his opening statement that the defendant’s conduct was “not psychotic.”  Third, he contends that the prosecutors made improper remarks during their opening statement and closing argument.  Fourth, he argues that the judge’s instruction regarding the consequences of a verdict of not guilty by reason of lack of criminal responsibility created a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice.  We affirm the defendant’s convictions, and having reviewed the entire record of the case pursuant to our duty under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, we find no reason to exercise our authority to order a new trial or to reduce the verdict of murder in the first degree. Background.  Because the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, we recount the evidence in the light most favorable to the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 4, 2016 at 8:55 pm

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