Posts tagged "Pinney"

Pinney v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-030-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12197   FREDERICK PINNEY  vs.  COMMONWEALTH.     February 15, 2018.     Homicide.  Constitutional Law, Double jeopardy.  Practice, Criminal, Mistrial, Double jeopardy.     Frederick Pinney is charged with murder in the first degree.  After his first trial ended in a mistrial, he moved to dismiss the indictment on the basis that the evidence presented was legally insufficient to warrant a conviction, and therefore retrying him would violate the guarantee against double jeopardy.  The trial judge denied the motion, and Pinney then filed a petition pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3, in the county court, seeking review of that decision.  A single justice denied the petition, and Pinney appeals.  We affirm.   Background.  Pinney was indicted in 2014 for the murder of Tayclair Moore.  His trial commenced in January, 2016, and lasted several days.  At the close of the Commonwealth’s case, Pinney moved for a required finding of not guilty, which the trial judge denied.  He renewed the motion orally later that day at the close of all the evidence; the judge took no action on the motion at that time.  Pinney renewed the motion again, in writing, several days later while the jury were deliberating; again the judge took no immediate action.   After deliberating for several days, the jury reported to the judge that they were deadlocked, leading the judge to give them, the following day, an instruction pursuant to Commonwealth v. Rodriquez, 364 Mass. 87, 101–102 (1973) (Appendix A), and Commonwealth v. Tuey, 8 Cush. 1, 2–3 (1851).  Later that day, the foreperson informed the judge that one of the deliberating jurors had discussed the deliberations with the alternate jurors.  The judge conducted an individual voir dire of the jurors, determined that the deliberating and alternate jurors had improperly communicated, and concluded that the jurors had engaged in misconduct.  On this basis, Pinney filed a motion for a mistrial that the judge allowed.  The judge later denied Pinney’s renewed motion for a required finding of not guilty.  Pinney subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, claiming that the evidence was insufficient to warrant a guilty verdict and that double jeopardy principles thus barred any retrial.  The trial judge denied that motion as well.   Discussion.  In certain circumstances, allowing a retrial of a defendant whose first trial has ended in a mistrial would infringe on the defendant’s […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm

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