Posts tagged "DeMatos"

DeMatos v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-117-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-11734   JUSTIN DeMATOS  vs.  COMMONWEALTH (and a consolidated case[1]). July 9, 2015.       Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.     The petitioner, Justin DeMatos, appeals from two judgments of a single justice of this court.  The first judgment concerns a document that DeMatos filed in the county court entitled a “petition for appeal to [the] Supreme Judicial Court pursuant to [G. L. c. 278, § 28].”  The second judgment concerns a petition that DeMatos subsequently filed in the county court pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3.  The single justice denied both petitions without a hearing.  We affirm.   Following a jury trial, DeMatos was convicted in the Superior Court on June 25, 2013, of one count of trafficking in oxycodone in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32E (c) (2) (twenty‑eight grams or more but less than one hundred grams), and one count of trafficking in oxycodone in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32E (c) (1) (fourteen grams or more but less than twenty-eight grams).[2]  He was sentenced to a term of from seven to eight years on the first count and a concurrent term of from five to six years on the second count.[3]  He appealed from his convictions to the Appeals Court, where his appeal is currently pending.[4]  He also appealed from his sentences to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, which, after a hearing, declined to reduce the sentences and dismissed his appeal.   The central theme of DeMatos’s petitions in the county court was that he could not be convicted of the charged offenses because oxycodone is not a class B substance, but instead belongs in class E.  See G. L. c. 94C, § 31 (defining classes of controlled substances).  Therefore, he claimed, his sentences for trafficking in a class B substance were illegal.  The single justice was not required to address these arguments on the petitions that were before her.  She correctly concluded that the proper forum for those arguments to be resolved is the Appeals Court, in DeMatos’s direct appeal.   1.  The petition that DeMatos purported to file under G. L. c. 278, § 28, was misplaced.  That statute authorizes a defendant to take a direct appeal from a criminal conviction in the District Court or the Superior Court.[5]  The appeal in all such cases (except cases of murder in the first degree) is to be entered in the Appeals Court in the first instance.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 10, 2015 at 6:34 am

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