Monday, December 17, 2012

New Requirements for Indictment of Juvenile for Murder

In Comm. v. Walczak, decided December 12, the SJC held that "In future cases, where the Commonwealth seeks to indict a juvenile for murder and where there is substantial evidence of mitigating circumstances or defenses (other than lack of criminal responsibility) presented to the grand jury, the prosecutor shall instruct the grand jury on the elements of murder and on the significance of the mitigating circumstances and defenses. The instructions are to be transcribed as part of the transcription of the grand jury proceedings." While a majority of the court agreed on the result, their reasoning varied. The decision includes two concurring opinions and one concurring in part and dissenting in part.