Posts tagged "1003118"

Commonwealth v. Jones (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-031-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-10944   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  RYAN JONES.       Bristol.     November 10, 2017. – February 20, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Homicide.  Mental Impairment.  Developmentally Disabled Person.  Constitutional Law, Sentence, Cruel and unusual punishment.  Practice, Criminal, Competency to stand trial, Sentence.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August 17, 2006.   A hearing on the defendant’s competency to stand trial was held before D. Lloyd Macdonald, J., and the case was tried before Gary A. Nickerson, J.     Brett J. Vottero for the defendant. Shoshana E. Stern, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     Gaziano, J.  A Superior Court jury found the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty in the death of Valerie Oransky on July 22, 2006.  Prior to and during trial, the defendant maintained that he was not competent to stand trial due to an organic brain injury he had suffered as an infant and a current diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.  The defendant was the subject of competency hearings before five different Superior Court judges, and was found competent to stand trial at the first, third, fourth, and fifth hearings.  At trial, his defense was that he was not criminally responsible. On appeal, the defendant argues that the judge who conducted his third competency hearing erred in finding him competent to stand trial notwithstanding testimony from both prosecution and defense experts that the defendant was not competent.  He also argues that a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, imposed on a developmentally disabled individual, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Federal and State constitutional rights.  Finally, the defendant asks us to use our extraordinary power under G. L. c. 278, § 33E, to order a new trial or reduce the verdict.  For the reasons that follow, we affirm the conviction and decline to exercise our authority to grant relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E. Procedural history. In August, 2006, a grand jury indicted the defendant on one charge of murder in the first degree.  He was arraigned in the Superior Court in September, 2006, and pleaded not guilty.  In October, 2007, defense counsel filed a motion seeking an examination of the defendant for […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 20, 2018 at 9:08 pm

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