Posts tagged "1013516"

Deal, et al. v. Commissioner of Correction, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-135-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12053   TIMOTHY DEAL & others[1]  vs.  COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION & another.[2]     Suffolk.     May 3, 2016. – August 25, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.[3]     Commissioner of Correction.  Constitutional Law, Sentence, Parole.  Due Process of Law, Sentence, Parole, Prison classification proceedings.  Imprisonment, Reclassification of prisoner.  Parole.  Youthful Offender Act.  Practice, Criminal, Sentence, Parole.     Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on July 14, 2015.   The case was reported by Botsford, J.     Barbara Kaban (Benjamin H. Keehn, Committee for Public Counsel Services, & James W. Rosseel with her) for the petitioners. Charles Anderson, Jr., for the respondents. David J. Apfel & Eileen L. Morrison, for American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     CORDY, J.  This case is before us on the reservation and report of the single justice.  The petitioners, Timothy Deal, Siegfried Golston, and Jeffrey Roberio, are juvenile homicide offenders[4] who are serving mandatory indeterminate life sentences and who have a constitutional right to a “meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.”  Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk Dist., 466 Mass. 655, 674 (2013) (Diatchenko I), quoting Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 75 (2010).   This right also extends to juveniles convicted of murder in the second degree.  See Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk Dist., 471 Mass. 12, 32 (2015) (Diatchenko II).  This case concerns the manner in which juvenile homicide offenders are classified and placed in Department of Correction (department) facilities. The issue before us is whether the department’s practice of using “discretionary override codes” to block qualifying juvenile homicide offenders from placement in a minimum security facility unless and until the individual has received a positive parole vote violates (1) G. L. c. 119, § 72B, as amended by St. 2014, c. 189, § 2; or (2) their right to a meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, arts. 12 and 26 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, or both Constitutions. We conclude that the department’s current classification practice violates G. L. c. 119, § 72B, as amended by St. 2014, c. 189, § 2, because the department’s failure to consider a juvenile homicide offender’s suitability […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm

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