Probation officer charged with intimidating witness
Fist, the constitution and rules of evidence limit the kinds of procedures police can use to identify someone, and what can be said in court.Second, when people think about what the police can show, they usually are not thinking in terms of "reasonable doubt." Even if the police are convinced about who was responsible, the Commonwealth still has to prove it, and if there is reasonable doubt, even convincing evidence is not enough.The witness intimidation statute in the Commonwealth is serious, broadly written, and extraordinarily harsh.They are also poorly understood by police, judges, prosecutors and attorneys alike.Muckle, holding that the witness intimidation statute can only be prosecuted in the District and Municipal Courts (as opposed to the Superior Court), in cases where the alleged victim is a "witness or juror." The SJC in Muckle ruled that where the alleged victim falls into any of the numerous other categories of persons, the prosecutor can only proceed by indictment, which is a much more involved procedure.
Proving a person's intent is a particularly difficult to do, and often requires that the Commonwealth rely on "circumstantial" evidence which is often open to competing interpretations.
He said Adams had “an ax to grind,” because Hoffman was promoted ahead of her. Ortiz launched an investigation of probation in Western Massachusetts after extensive reports in 2010 by The Boston Globe and then independent counsel Paul F. of Boston that alleged a hiring system that benefited candidates recommended mostly by state legislators.
Adams did not like Hoffman and she was jealous of his success in probation, Bongiorni told jurors.“She blamed him for everything that was wrong in her life,” Bongiorni said. Bell said Hoffman made repeated statements over two days in an attempt to persuade Adams to withhold the truth from the FBI. Bell said Hoffman had a strong motive to make intimidating and harassing statements to Adams.
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On October 6, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court issued its opinion in Commonwealth v.
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These cases should be fought vigorously, and I have successfully argued motions to dismiss cases where police attempts to use the broad language of the witness intimidation statute to snare people who did nothing more than tell the police they were not guilty.