Justia Massachusetts Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Commonwealth v. Holland

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After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, and armed home invasion. After filing a notice of appeal, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial arguing that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to investigate and present a defense of lack of criminal responsibility. Defendant also filed a second motion for a new trial. The trial court denied Defendant’s two motions for a new trial. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and the orders denying the motions for a new trial and declined to reduce the verdict or grant a new trial, holding (1) the trial judge did not err in denying Defendant’s first motion for a new trial, as trial counsel’s decision to forgo further investigation of a lack of criminal responsibility defense based on mental illness was not error; and (2) Defendant’s remaining claims of error were either procedurally waived or without merit. View "Commonwealth v. Holland" on Justia Law