Statement of Attorney General Martha Coakley on Today's SJC Decision Affirming the Conviction of Jeffrey Bly
BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision affirming the conviction of Jeffrey Bly. Bly was convicted of first degree murder in May 1999 in connection with the September 1995 death of prosecutor Paul McLaughlin.
On September 25, 1995, just before 7:00 p.m., Assistant Attorney General Paul McLaughlin, who was on special assignment as a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, was shot and killed at the Highland Street commuter rail station in West Roxbury. McLaughlin was scheduled to begin the trial of Bly on carjacking charges the following morning.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office handled the appeals process for the case, made the following statement regarding today’s ruling:
“The facts of this case and the reason behind Paul McLaughlin’s murder are chilling and abhorrent. This calculated execution of a prosecutor by the man scheduled to be tried by him the next day was an attack on the criminal justice system as a whole. The investigation and prosecution of this case was professional, careful, thoughtful, and most importantly, fair. In the end, it was the defendant’s own statements and the courage of those who knew and associated with him to come forward, despite threats and intimidation, that led the jury to convict Bly of this heinous offense.”
“I am extremely gratified that the Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed Bly’s conviction. Many years have passed since this horrific crime, and it has been a difficult time, not only for Paul’s family and friends, but for everyone who has been involved with the case. The resolution of this case represents the criminal justice system at its finest—providing the accused with the fairest and most professional investigation and prosecution. Paul would be proud.”