Posts tagged "1002015"

Commonwealth v. Brown (and a companion case) (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-020-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-11570   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ENFRID BROWN, JR. (and a companion case[1]).[2] Suffolk.     October 9, 2014. – February 11, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Double jeopardy, Capital case,  Verdict.  Constitutional Law, Double jeopardy.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court on May 16, 1973.   Following review by this court, 367 Mass. 24 (1975) and 378 Mass. 165 (1979), motions for a new trial, filed on September 23, 2009, and July 26, 2012, were considered by Frank M. Gaziano, J.   A request for leave to appeal was allowed by Gants, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk.     Ryan M. Schiff, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for William J. Johnson. Matthew Sears, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Robert L. Sheketoff, for Enfrid Brown, Jr., was present but did not argue.     HINES, J.  The defendants, Enfrid Brown, Jr., and William J. Johnson, were indicted on charges of murder and armed entry with the intent to commit a felony in connection with the 1973 death of the victim, Hakim A. Jamal.[3]  The defendants were convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree at their first trial.[4]  We reversed the first convictions on grounds not pertinent to this appeal and remanded for a new trial.  Commonwealth v. Brown, 367 Mass. 24, 32 (1975) (Brown I).  They were retried and again convicted.  We affirmed the second convictions.  Commonwealth v. Brown, 378 Mass. 165, 166 (1979) (Brown II). After various proceedings, which we detail below, the defendants filed a third[5] motion for a new trial in July, 2012, arguing that the jury’s initial report of not guilty verdicts in the first trial was in fact an acquittal of murder in the first degree on the theory of deliberate premeditation and the retrial on that same theory in the second trial violated their double jeopardy rights.  In a thoughtful memorandum of decision, a Superior Court judge denied the motion.  The defendants petitioned a single justice of this court, pursuant to the “gatekeeper” provision of G. L. c. 278, § 33E, for leave to appeal.  The single justice allowed the appeal to proceed on the question whether the jury’s initial verdict has the double jeopardy consequence, under Federal constitutional law and the statutory and […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm

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