Posts tagged "1105013"

Commonwealth v. Davis (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-050-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;       11‑P‑1746                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOHN DAVIS.   No. 11‑P‑1746. Suffolk.     October 9, 2012.  ‑  April 11, 2013. Present:  Berry, Kafker, & Green, JJ.     Controlled Substances.  “School Zone” Statute.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Harmless error, Double jeopardy, Indictment.  Error, Harmless.  Evidence, Certificate of drug analysis, Wiretap.  Electronic Surveillance.  Search and Seizure, Electronic surveillance, Warrant, Affidavit.  Practice, Criminal, Confrontation of witnesses, Harmless error, Warrant, Affidavit, Double jeopardy, Indictment, Trial of indictments together.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on February 27, 2006.   Pretrial motions to suppress evidence were heard by Janet L. Sanders, J.; a pretrial motion for a hearing on alleged misrepresentations in a search warrants was heard by Christine M. McEvoy, J.; the cases were tried before Linda E. Giles, J.; and a motion for a new trial, filed on November 8, 2010, was heard by her.     James E. Methe for the defendant. Zachary Hillman, Assistant District Attorney (Dean A. Mazzone, Assistant Attorney General, with him) for the Commonwealth.     BERRY, J.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of trafficking in 200 grams or more of cocaine, G. L. c. 94C, § 32E(b)(4), and doing so in a school zone, G. L. c. 94C, § 32J.  On the defendant’s consolidated appeal from his convictions and from the denial of his motion for a new trial, the Commonwealth concedes that the admission of certificates of drug analysis (drug certificates) violated the defendant’s constitutional confrontation rights under Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305, 310-311 (2009) (Melendez-Diaz).  We reject the Commonwealth’s argument that the Melendez-Diaz error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.  Accordingly, we reverse the defendant’s convictions.   Notwithstanding the reversal, we address certain issues that remain live and will affect any further proceedings.  Specifically, we address three points involving the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress recorded oral communications between a confidential informant (CI), the defendant, and a codefendant, Victor Alvarado.  First, the defendant argues that the averments in State Trooper Steven M. Racki’s affidavit in support of a warrant for the  one-party consensual recording of conversations under Commonwealth v. Blood, 400 Mass. 61 (1987) (Blood warrant), failed to demonstrate the required nexus with organized crime.  Second, the defendant contends that the Blood warrant was overbroad in scope.  Third, the defendant argues that because the affidavit in support of […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

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