Posts tagged "1013215"

Commonwealth v. Roberts (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-132-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11825   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH L. ROBERTS. Plymouth.     April 7, 2015. – July 30, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Sex Offender.  Practice, Criminal, Plea, Sentence, Waiver.  Due Process of Law, Plea.  Constitutional Law, Waiver of constitutional rights.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 8, 2002.   A motion to withdraw a plea of guilty and for a new trial, filed on February 10, 2012, was heard by Raymond P. Veary, Jr., J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Carolyn A. Burbine, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Jeanne M. Kempthorne for the defendant. Jeffrey G. Harris, for William J. Sylvester, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     CORDY, J.  In 2005, the defendant pleaded guilty to several sexual offenses, including forcible rape, committed against three children.  Neither his defense counsel nor the judge who accepted his guilty pleas informed the defendant that his sexual offense convictions could, pursuant to G. L. c. 123A, serve as a predicate for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person for from one day to life.  Although each conviction of forcible rape of a child carried a maximum sentence of life in prison, by pleading guilty to them the defendant obtained a sentence of from not less than nine to not more than thirteen years in the State prison. Subsequently, after learning of the possibility of a lifetime of civil confinement, the defendant moved to withdraw his guilty pleas.  A judge in the Superior Court allowed the defendant’s motion on the ground that the failure of the plea judge to inform the defendant of possible civil commitment violated due process and Mass. R. Crim. P. 12 (c) (3) (B), as appearing in 442 Mass. 1511 (2004) (rule 12).[1]  The fulcrum of the judge’s decision was an analogy to Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 369 (2010), a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that the failure of counsel to advise a noncitizen that his or her guilty plea likely would lead to deportation constituted ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We conclude that the analogy to Padilla is inapt.  Nonetheless, given the significant deprivation of liberty at stake, […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 30, 2015 at 4:41 pm

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