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By adamg - 11/20/20 - 2:34 pm

The Massachusetts court system announced today it's postponing the resumption of jury trials until at least the week of Jan. 11 due to "the expectation of rising infections during the holiday period." Read more.

By adamg - 11/13/20 - 11:05 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for a man convicted on OUI charges for a 2014 crash because state troopers handcuffed him and restrained him so a nurse could withdraw two blood samples that were then used against him at his trial. Read more.

By adamg - 10/28/20 - 11:54 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that, aside from one very specific set of documents that almost nobody uses anymore, Massachusetts notaries can charge whatever the market can bear and that a man's legal demand for damages for what he feels were overcharges for getting documents notarized should fail because his claim relies on a law written in 1836 about those documents. Read more.

By adamg - 10/27/20 - 11:00 am

The state's highest court today rejected an injured worker's request that the company that paid him worker's comp pay for his purchases of the medical marijuana that eased his pain following complications from surgery for a work-related injury. Read more.

By adamg - 10/22/20 - 1:26 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Laquan Miller for repeatedly shooting two men in the back in the Archdale housing complex in 2011, killing one of them. Read more.

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By adamg - 9/24/20 - 1:26 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that an attorney for Khamal McCalop of Dorchester can pursue an investigation into whether some of the jurors who convicted him on three gun charges screamed racist remarks about him while pressuring one holdout on the jury to convict. Read more.

By adamg - 9/17/20 - 12:54 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that in the absence of state-mandated data on the race and ethnicity of drivers pulled over for traffic stops, minority drivers who feel they were targeted for enforcement no longer have to provide detailed statistical analysis of an officer's traffic stops to prove they were pulled over because of their race or ethnicity. Read more.

By adamg - 9/17/20 - 11:34 am

Black teens and young adults have legitimate reasons to try to run away from police in Boston, but prosecutors can use testimony by the officers who arrested Tykorie Evelyn after he ran away from them - and present the gun they found in evidence - when he comes up for trial for the 2017 murder of Khisean Desvarieux outside the Orchard Gardens Community Center Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today. Read more.

By adamg - 9/14/20 - 4:43 pm
Ralph Gants

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who had begun to focus the judicial system on issues of racial and ethnic inequalities, died today. He was 65.

Read more.

By adamg - 8/4/20 - 11:36 am

A committee of Massachusetts judgets has published a series of recommendations for how to re-start jury trials in Massachusetts that would balance the right to public trials with the need to reduce the risk of jurors, defendants, lawyers, court officers and judges not to contract a potentially fatal virus. Read more.

By adamg - 7/13/20 - 3:14 pm
Rayla Campbell in West Roxbury

Rayla Campbell in West Roxbury last month.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the state does not have to print Rayla Campbell's name on the Republican ballot for the 7th District congressional seat, because she failed to collect even the reduced number of signatures the court had earlier allowed due to Covid-19 issues. Read more.

By adamg - 7/9/20 - 10:46 am

The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday told the district attorneys from the Cape and Islands and Norfolk, Essex and Plymouth counties that no, they cannot intervene in a Suffolk County murder case that has nothing to do with their rural and suburban communities, even if it could ultimately lead to a decision that they don't like. Read more.

By adamg - 6/4/20 - 10:18 am

In an unusual statement yesterday, the seven justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday called on their fellow judges and lawyers to do something about "the inequity and injustice that is the legacy of slavery, of Jim Crow, and of the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans."

Although they included themselves in that admonition, the justices, in fact, have been doing something about that, through their decisions in recent years, such as: Read more.

By adamg - 6/3/20 - 12:12 pm
Supreme Judicial Court justices

The Supreme Judicial Court.

The seven justices of the Supreme Judicial Court today sent a letter to the state's judges and lawyers on the current situation:

The events of the last few months have reminded us of what African-Americans know all too well: that too often, by too many, black lives are not treated with the dignity and respect accorded to white lives. As judges and as lawyers, we are both saddened and angry at the confluence of recent events that have revealed how much more we need to do to create a just, fair, and peaceful society.

Read more.

By adamg - 5/26/20 - 11:29 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that voters this fall will get to decide whether to give all food stores the right to get a license to sell beer and wine, through a ballot question proposed by convenience-store giant Cumberland Farms, which has the maximum seven licenses allowed by current state law. Read more.

By adamg - 5/15/20 - 9:23 am

In a letter to lawyers yesterday, leaders of the state trial and appeals courts announced their court buildings will likely remain shut through at least the end of June, but that trials probably won't restart until September, due to Covid-19 concerns. Read more.

By adamg - 4/27/20 - 3:00 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today issued new rules that will continue to slow the wheels of trial justice in Massachusetts through summertime. Read more.

By adamg - 4/21/20 - 11:26 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Anthony Mazza, who was convicted 47 years ago on charges he strangled a bank manager in a Bowdoin Street rooming house, after concluding his lawyer never got a police statement that might have implicated the tenant of the apartment where the dead man's body was found. Read more.

By adamg - 4/17/20 - 2:31 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the Covid-19 crisis is making it too hard for many candidates to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot for the September primary and so ordered that candidates need only collect half as many signatures - and that candidates for state legislative races have more time to do so. Also, candidates can submit signatures gathered electronically rather than on paper. Read more.

By adamg - 4/16/20 - 1:37 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that prosecutors can use license-plate data from cameras mounted on both Cape bridges to make their case against an alleged heroin dealer who was nabbed in part because the data showed he was making frequent trips on and off the Cape - and alerted Barnstable police to the specific trip he made that led to his arrest. Read more.

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