Posts tagged "1117715"

Commonwealth v. Blanchard (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-177-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-645                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MICHAEL BLANCHARD. No. 14-P-645. Norfolk.     October 2, 2015. – November 12, 2015.   Present:  Katzmann, Grainger, & Maldonado, JJ. Practice, Criminal, Jury and jurors, Deliberation of jury, Instructions to jury, Voir dire, Mistrial, Confrontation of witnesses, Required finding.  Constitutional Law, Jury, Confrontation of witnesses.  Jury and Jurors.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Cross-examination.  Witness, Cross-examination.  Firearms.  License.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April 16, 2010.   The cases were tried before Elizabeth M. Fahey, J.     William S. Smith for the defendant. Pamela L. Alford, Assistant District Attorney (Gregory P. Connor, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth.      GRAINGER, J.  The defendant was convicted by a jury in Superior Court of murder in the second degree, G. L. c. 265, § 1, and carrying a firearm without a license, G. L. c. 269, § 10(a).[1]  On appeal, he asserts that the trial judge improperly denied his motion for a mistrial, erred in admitting testimony of a substitute medical examiner, erred in preventing his line of questioning on cross-examination, and that there was insufficient evidence to support the firearms conviction.  We set forth the background of the case as it pertains to the issues on appeal. Background.  After the jury had reached their verdicts, but before they were announced, the prosecutor was informed by a court officer that a white three-ring binder containing the judge’s copy of the motions in limine, including documents and photographs excluded from trial and a complete unredacted set of jail telephone call transcripts, had been delivered into the jury deliberations room.[2]  The prosecutor alerted defense counsel and, after reviewing the binder together, they recognized that it was not in evidence.  Outside the presence of the jury, counsel then brought this matter to the attention of the judge.  The judge noted that the binder was not intended to be submitted to the jury.  Upon inquiry, it was discovered that the binder had been inadvertently included with the exhibits brought over to the jury room.  The judge stated to counsel:  “I would be shocked if I don’t have to declare a mistrial if [the jury] did review it.” The judge then conducted individual voir dire examinations of each juror about the binder in accordance with Commonwealth v. Mejia, 461 Mass. 384, 393-396 (2012) (Mejia).[3]  Several jurors recalled having looked through […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 12, 2015 at 7:03 pm

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