Justia Massachusetts Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Commonwealth v. Thomas

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A grand jury returned indictments against Defendant on various charges, including three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and murder in the second degree. Defendant moved to suppress the identification of him by an eyewitness, Brianna Johnson, and also moved to suppress Johnson’s identification of a firearm as the one used by Defendant in the commission of the crime. The motion judge denied the motion to suppress the identification of Defendant but allowed the motion to suppress the identification of the firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) under the circumstances of this case, the failure to detectives showing a photographic array to the eyewitness to use the protocol outlined in Commonwealth v. Silva-Santiago did not warrant suppression of Defendant’s identification of Defendant; (2) the use of a simultaneous rather than a sequential display of photographs in an array was not unnecessarily suggestive; and (3) the motion judge did not abuse his discretion in ruling the identification of the firearm as inadmissible under the common law of evidence due to suggestive police questioning and subsequent police confirmation. View "Commonwealth v. Thomas" on Justia Law
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