Posts tagged "1004315"

Commonwealth v. Didas (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-043-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11712   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  DAMIEN DIDAS. Middlesex.     December 4, 2014. – March 13, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Controlled Substances.  Practice, Criminal, Sentence.  Statute, Construction, Retroactive application, Amendment.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on October 20, 2011.   A pretrial motion to apply to the defendant’s case amendments made to G. L. c. 94C was heard by Garry V. Inge, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Bethany Stevens, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Arnold A. Blank, Jr., Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant. Barbara J. Dougan, for Families Against Mandatory Minimums, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     BOTSFORD, J.  In this case we return to St. 2012, c. 192, “An Act relative to sentencing and improving law enforcement tools” (Crime Bill).  More specifically, we revisit the question whether certain provisions of the Crime Bill apply to drug crimes with which the defendant was charged before the statute’s effective date, but for which the defendant was not convicted until after the effective date.  See Commonwealth v. Galvin, 466 Mass. 286 (2013).  See also Commonwealth v. Bradley, 466 Mass. 551 (2013). The Crime Bill had an emergency preamble and was effective on passage, which occurred on August 2, 2012.  Among other things, it made a number of changes to provisions of the Commonwealth’s controlled substances law, G. L. c. 94C.[1]  The Crime Bill also included a section specifying that certain provisions of the legislation were to apply retroactively to individuals who previously had been convicted of certain drug crimes with mandatory minimum sentences and were still serving those sentences.  See St. 2012, c. 192, § 48 (§ 48).  In Galvin, 466 Mass. at 286-287, 290-291, based on our review of the Crime Bill’s language and purpose, we interpreted § 48′s retroactivity provisions to mean that certain of its mandatory minimum sentence reductions should be applied retroactively to a defendant who had been charged with committing a drug offense before the Crime Bill’s effective date, but who was not tried, convicted, or sentenced until after that date.  Thereafter, in Bradley, 466 Mass. at 561, we held that the school zone radius reduction included in § 30 of the Crime Bill should be applied retroactively to an […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 13, 2015 at 2:38 pm

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