Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins has asked a Supreme Judicial Court justice to make a Boston Municipal Court judge accept her office's decision not to prosecute several people arrested during and after Saturday's march of the bigots.
Yesterday, Judge Richard Sinnott refused to accept prosecutors' filings to drop charges against protesters who were charged with only disorderly conduct and, in some cases, resisting arrest. Prosecutors said they would prosecute protesters charged with assault and battery on police officers, possession of a dangerous weapon and starting fights.
In a statement, Rollins said Sinnott compounded what she called a legal error - judges cannot tell prosecutors who to prosecute under the state constituion, she says - by ordering a defense attorney thrown in the court lockup for several hours for protesting Sinnott's refusal to recognize the prosecution requests, known as a nolle prosequi filing.
The actions of Judge Richard Sinnott are unprecedented and outrageous. His insistence on arraigning individuals when my office has used its discretion to decline a case is an unconstitutional abuse of his power and serves neither the interests of justice nor public safety. The power to pursue prosecution falls exclusively on the executive branch, not the judiciary. The judge overstepped his authority here, and only an action of our state's highest court can correct this injustice. My petition is a call for order to be returned to our courts, to ensure the fair administration of justice, and to restore the public's trust in the integrity of our legal system. The people of Suffolk County elected me to do exactly what I am doing.