Criminal Justice Reform: Good Samaritan Law

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new bill that made a number of important changes to the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System. One part of the law that was amended was the “Good Samaritan Law.” The “Good Samaritan Law” (M.G.L. c. 94C § 34A), protects from criminal prosecution people who experience drug overdoses, and people who call for emergency medical help for another person experiencing a drug overdose. The law was put in place in order to encourage people to seek medical assistance for drug overdoses, without fear…Read more

Threat to Sue is Witness Intimidation, Not Protected Speech

On October 22, 2014, In an unpublished opinion in Commonwealth v. Simeone, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled that a person who threatens to sue a witness in a criminal case with the specific intent to impede or obstruct the witness from participating in a criminal proceeding can be found guilty of Witness Intimidation under G.L. ch. 268 § 13B. In this case, the defendant in a criminal proceeding admitted to saying to a witness "[w]ait until [your] court date, [I'm] going to make sure [you] get screwed,” and also admitted that he…Read more

Police Officer Kills Teenager in St. Louis

Yesterday, another white police officer killed a black teenager. This killing occurred in St. Louis, Missouri. See Wall St. J., St. Louis Police Officer Fatally Shoots Man (Oct. 9, 2014). An off-duty police officer was patrolling a neighborhood in uniform for a private security company. See id.; Wash. Post, Crowds in Streets of St. Louis after Fatal Shooting by Off-Duty Police Officer (Oct. 9, 2014). The Police report that the deceased teenager was one of three men who turned and ran upon seeing the officer. See Wash. Post, supra. The officer gave chase…Read more