Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Tag Archives: evidence

Sexual assault evidence law changed Posted on Oct 24

On October 19, 2016, Governor Baker signed legislation to change the length of time evidence in sexual assault cases is preserved.  Massachusetts General Laws chapter 41 sec. 97B was amended so that rape kits will be maintained for 15 years instead of 6 months and   …Continue Reading Sexual assault evidence law changed

New Standard of Proof in Sex Offender Classification Posted on Dec 11

In Doe, SORB No. 380316 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, decided today, the Supreme Judicial Court announced a new standard of proof for classification of sex offenders. “In light of amendments to the sex offender registry law and other developments.. the preponderance standard no longer adequately protects … due process   …Continue Reading New Standard of Proof in Sex Offender Classification

Admissibility of Acquittal Evidence Posted on Sep 3

In Commonwealth v. Dorazio, decided this week, the SJC addressed the issue of the admissibility of evidence from a past incident which resulted in the acquittal of the defendant. The court said, in part, “As a matter of Federal constitutional law, collateral estoppel does not bar   …Continue Reading Admissibility of Acquittal Evidence

Preventing Trial by Ambush Posted on Jun 1

“To begin preparing for trial, both sides engage in discovery. This is the formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence they’ll present at trial. Discovery enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented.   …Continue Reading Preventing Trial by Ambush

Eyewitness Identification Posted on Jan 13

Yesterday, in Commonwealth v. Gomes, the Supreme Judicial Court issued “a new provisional jury instruction regarding eyewitness identification.” The court explained, “We have made the jury instruction provisional to allow for public comment and possible future revision before we declare it a model, but it should   …Continue Reading Eyewitness Identification

New Standard for Admission of In-Court Identifications Posted on Dec 17

In Commonwealth v. Crayton, 470 Mass. 228, the Supreme Judicial Court announced today that the court is establishing “a new standard for the admission of in-court identifications where the eyewitness had not previously participated in an out-of-court identification procedure.” The Standard “Where an eyewitness has   …Continue Reading New Standard for Admission of In-Court Identifications