Courts

Involuntary commitment of drug users wrong approach

Involuntary commitment of drug users wrong approach

There's no evidence that detention is effective in treating addiction

MASSACHUSETTS IS AIMING to tackle the opioid crisis head on. On Friday, the Joint House and Senate committee dealing with substance abuse is set to move forward on major legislation known as the CARE Act. Though the bill includes many good measures, it would also expand the dubious practice of involuntarily sending drug users to rehab. And that(...)

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DA races drawing candidates and attention

DA races drawing candidates and attention

Controversy and new political context give challengers an opening in DA races

Back in December, when the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts launched a voter education campaign targeting the state’s district attorneys, it seemed like a long shot. After all, races for district attorney are located pretty far down the ballot, places where the power of incumbency usually rules. But as election season starts to heat(...)

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DA races drawing candidates and attention

Back in December, when the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts launched a voter education campaign targeting the state’s district attorneys, it seemed like a long shot. After all, races for district attorney are located pretty far down the ballot, places where the power of incumbency usually rules. But as election season starts to heat(...)

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Sinning in the workplace

Sinning in the workplace

Estes: Extramarital affair shouldn’t cost me my job

Judge Thomas Estes asked the Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday to penalize him for having extramarital sex with a court employee but not to take his job away permanently. David Hoose, who represented Estes before the SJC, said his client is not the first person — even the first judge, male or female — to(...)

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SJC justices mull millionaires’ tax

SJC justices mull millionaires’ tax

Ballot question decision may hinge on whether court thinks elements are sufficiently related

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT justices peppered lawyers with questions on Tuesday morning on an appeal challenging a proposed state ballot question to raise taxes on high earners, with judges repeatedly questioning whether it met a requirement that the elements of ballot measures be “related” or “mutually dependent.” The proposed constitutional amendment is sponsored by a coalition(...)

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DAs differ on expense approaches

DAs differ on expense approaches

No pattern or guide on office spending

AS A GROUP, the 11 district attorneys in Massachusetts are not big spenders when it comes to dining out or traveling on the state’s dime. But within the group, there are some wide variations. Overall, the district attorneys spent $67,012 over the course of a year on trips, meals, and related expenses, according to records(...)

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Debating immigration policy on Beacon Hill

Debating immigration policy on Beacon Hill

Lawmakers should reverse course on Republican amendment to criminal justice bill

IMMIGRATION REFORM isn’t part of the criminal justice reform bill House members will begin debating today, but Republican lawmakers want it to be. Maybe they’re right and it should be — but the Legislature should instead move in the opposite direction of the harmful plan that Republican amendments are proposing. Last week, Siham Byah, a(...)

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SJC blocks local detentions for ICE

SJC blocks local detentions for ICE

Court says local authorities cannot hold immigrants solely because of border violation

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE LAW DOES NOT permit officials to detain immigrants solely at the request of federal immigration officials, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday, putting up a legal barrier to a long-running component of immigration enforcement. In the case of Commonwealth v. Sreynuon Lunn, the court concluded that “nothing in the statutes(...)

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