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Complex Issues in Murder Cases

Friday, March 9, 2018 | 9:00am - 4:30pm UTC

* This is a bench/bar program. *

Program Faculty:

  • Superior Court Judge Linda E. Giles, Program Chair
  • Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Fishman
  • Superior Court Judge Peter B. Krupp
  • Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke
  • ADA David A. Deakin, Chief, Family Protection and Sexual Assault BureauSuffolk County DA’s Office
  • Steven Devlin, Deputy Director, Attorney General’s Office Digital Evidence Lab
  • ADA Mark T. Lee, Deputy Chief, Homicide Unit, Suffolk County DA’s Office
  • ADA Adrienne C. Lynch, Chief, Homicide & Unsolved Homicide, Middlesex County DA’s Office
  • Attorney Rosemary C. Scapicchio, Boston
  • Attorney Robert L. Sheketoff, Boston
  • Attorney James L. Sultan, Rankin & Sultan, Boston
  • Attorney Larry R. Tipton, Attorney-in-Charge, Norfolk County Superior Court Office, Committee for Public Counsel Services

“Complex Issues in Murder Cases” will focus on the most difficult areas of a murder trial, with comprehensive analysis from all perspectives. You will gain powerful, timely insights from leading practitioners, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, and a forensic expert regarding how to tackle these problematic issues. Judicial commentary and reflection from four veteran Superior Court judges will give you an inside look at how judges view these demanding aspects of a murder trial. Four crucial topics will be covered during the program through presentation, discussion, and demonstrations:

(1) Pre-Trial Discovery, Protective Orders, and Motions in Limine

  • Update on recent homicide caselaw
  • Pretrial discovery motions (including BRIC and gang evidence issues, prior bad acts of defendant and alleged victim, and information regarding failure of lab personnel to pass proficiency test)
  • Protective orders (including uses and application of discovery material, redactions of discovery, and preservation of turret and police recordings, video surveillance, cell tower records, and officers’ texts and e-mails)
  • Motions in limine (including allowance of Comm. or defense to subpoena records to Clerk’s Office, sequestration (with family member exceptions), motive, jail calls, gang evidence, and to exclude/introduce third-party culprit, Adjutant, and Bowden evidence)

(2) Methods of Impanelment

  • Revised Superior Court Rule 6 (jury selection process, including attorney-participatory voir dire)
  • Methods of voir dire (panel vs. individual)
  • Use of jury questionnaires
  • Recent cases involving Soares challenges (including Comm. v. Jones)

(3) Cyber Components in Murder Cases

  • Legal update on searching cell phones and other digital devices
  • Decryption of digital devices
  • Available digital evidence and data in the possession of third parties
  • Forensic demonstration of mining digital devices
  • Practical discussion of related motions and litigation strategies

(4) Special Issues on Jury Instructions and Juveniles

  • Proposed changes to the SJC Model Homicide Instructions (including felony-murder (Comm. v. Brown), self-defense as it relates to felony-murder (Comm. v. Rogers, Comm. v. Fantauzzi), and clarification of heat-of-passion instruction (Comm. v. Felix) and instruction related to accident)
  • Continuing evolution of joint venture instruction since Comm. v. Zanetti (including issues relating to withdrawal from participation (Comm. v. Rivera) and impact of acquittal of principal based on self-defense (Comm. v. Norris)
  • Issues relating to potential jury instructions in juvenile murder cases (including brain development, expert testimony, impaired judgment and impulse control, and whether there should be a different objective standard in juvenile cases for third-prong malice and self-defense)

This program is critical for judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, homicide investigators, and forensic experts. It will provide you with a unique opportunity to benefit from the experience and expertise of seasoned judges, attorneys, and experts who have grappled with these complex issues.


Friday, March 9, 2018
9:00am - 4:30pm UTC
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