Posts tagged "1013414"

Commonwealth v. Richardson (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-134-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-11472 COMMONWEALTH  vs.  TARI RICHARDSON. Plymouth.     March 6, 2014. – August 7, 2014.     Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1]     Firearms.  Practice, Criminal, Sentence, Execution of sentence, Investigation of jurors, Voir dire.  Evidence, Firearm, Prior violent conduct, Identity.  Jury and Jurors.  Statute, Construction.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April 27, 2007.   The cases were tried before Jeffrey A. Locke, J., and a posttrial motion to inquire of jurors or for alternative relief was heard by him.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     William W. Adams for the defendant. Gail M. McKenna, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Michael J. Fellows, for Committee for Public Counsel, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, J.  In Bynum v. Commonwealth, 429 Mass. 705, 707, 709 (1999), we declared that, where the Legislature enacts a sentencing enhancement statute that provides for a longer sentence where a defendant convicted of the crime has one or more specified prior convictions, “[t]he prior offense is not an element of the crime for which a defendant is charged but concerns the punishment to be imposed if he is convicted . . . and the prior offense is proved.”  We, therefore, concluded that the Legislature did not intend that two sentences be imposed, one for the underlying offense and a second for having committed the offense after a prior conviction of the same offense.  Id. at 709.  Here, the defendant was convicted of a firearms offense for which there were two applicable sentencing enhancement statutes, and the Commonwealth proved convictions of separate prior offenses for each.  The primary issue on appeal is whether the defendant may be sentenced under both sentencing enhancement statutes.  We conclude that, unless the Legislature has explicitly declared its intent to permit multiple sentencing enhancements, a defendant may be sentenced under only one sentencing enhancement statute.[2] Background.  Because the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, we recite the evidence at trial in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth.  After midnight on March 4, 2007, the defendant, an African-American man wearing a white T-shirt, entered a night club in Brockton, along with another African-American man wearing a white T-shirt.  The club manager, Aldo […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

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