Report to the Supreme Judicial Court by Special Counsel R. J. Cinquegrana
Group: Massachusetts Judicial Branch
On October 19, 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court appointed R.J. Cinquegrana of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP as its special counsel for the purpose of conducting a confidential and independent preliminary inquiry relating to the District Court Department. We were asked to determine the rate of acquittal in jury-waived trials on charges of operating under the influence (“OUI”) of drugs or alcohol, and to examine whether that rate differs from the national average and from the rate of acquittal in other criminal cases in Massachusetts. In addition, we were asked to explore whether the acquittal rates of certain judges in those departments of the Trial Court are substantially greater than the statistical average and, if so, to identify possible reasons for the disparity. The Court directed that this was to be a preliminary, fact-finding inquiry, not a disciplinary inquiry, intended to produce independent findings that the Court will consider in determining whether any further actions are appropriate.
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