What is abatement and why is everyone in MA talking about it? (Updated May 9, 2017)

With the discussion surrounding Aaron Hernandez’s conviction, acquittals, and suicide, are you wondering why there is also a discussion of abatement? Though not necessarily a new legal development, abatement could allow Hernandez’s conviction to be avoided. Read on for a quick summary. What is abatement ab initio (“abatement”)? In Massachusetts as well as in a number of states, the…

21,000+ Drug Cases Dropped Due to Dookhan Scandal

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, was the deadline for prosecutors to determine what to do about convictions impacted by the Annie Dookhan evidence-tampering scandal. Massachusetts prosecutors decided to drop more than 21,000 drug cases implicated by the scandal. The dismissal of these cases was approved by the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) on April 19th. Annie Dookhan Scandal Annie…

Post-Conviction DNA Testing in Massachusetts

A case heard by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) on April 3, 2017, has the potential for the SJC to determine the extent of Massachusetts's post-conviction DNA statute Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278A.  Section 278A was passed in 2012, and as discussed in Commonwealth v. Moffat, allows a defendant to bring a post-conviction motion…